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Saudi Arabia: US must consult Gulf before returning to Iran deal 

December 7, 2020 at 9:45 am

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud in Berlin, Germany on 21 February 2020 [Abdulhamid Hoşbaş/Anadolu Agency]

Saudi Arabia has no opposition to the United States returning to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal Bin Farhan Al-Saud announced yesterday.

“We hope that all issues of concern to the Iranians will be confronted, chief among them the necessity to impose a permanent ban on uranium enrichment, and not to enable Iran to return to these activities in the past,” Al Saud told Italy’s La Repubblica. He added that the deal was “not addressing Iran’s regional activities.”

In 2015, Iran and six western countries signed a deal, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which led to the forging of close cooperation between Tehran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). But US President Donald Trump abandoned the deal in May 2018 despite numerous IAEA reports on Tehran’s full compliance with the agreement.

On the sidelines of a security conference in the Bahraini capital of Manama, Al Saud told AFP that the Gulf countries must be “consulted if the Iran nuclear agreement is to be revived.”

“Primarily what we expect is that we are fully consulted, that we and our other regional friends are fully consulted in what goes on vis a vis the negotiations with Iran,” he Saudi diplomat said, noting that the only way towards reaching an agreement was through a “sustainable consultation.”

US president-elect Joe Biden has recently said he would return to the nuclear accord with Iran.

READ: Iran’s top body backs bill to increase uranium enrichment