Saudi Arabia's King Salman has expressed concern over Iran's alleged lack of cooperation with the international community, particularly in the ongoing talks regarding the Iranian nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.
Speaking at an address to the Kingdom's advisory Shura Council yesterday, King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz stated that "We follow with concern the Iranian government's policy which is destabilising regional security and stability, including building and backing sectarian armed militias and propagating its military power in other countries."
The 85-year-old monarch also lamented Iran's "lack of cooperation with the international community regarding its nuclear programme and its development of ballistic missiles," referring to Tehran's efforts to increase its military capabilities in recent months.
Those efforts are despite the ongoing talks over the broken Iranian nuclear deal which are currently taking place in the Austrian capital, Vienna. The deal – signed by Iran, the UK, France, Germany, Russia, China, and the US in 2015 – was jeopardised and violated after the former US administration of President Donald Trump withdrew from it in 2018.
Many states, including Saudi Arabia, see Iran's development of its military capabilities and ballistic missiles as a sign that it is not serious about the nuclear talks and that it is prioritising a military response to any potential tensions. Those fears were further revived today, after Iran launched a rocket and research satellite into space.
Throughout the past year, Riyadh and Tehran have also been conducting talks with each other in efforts to restore ties and ease tensions. After a decline in those talks, Iran last week stated that it was ready to resume the dialogue with Saudi Arabia, in what some see as a bid to decrease decades of regional rivalry.