MANAMA: If a US nuclear deal with Iran is resurrected, the Gulf States must be contacted, Saudi Arabia said on Saturday, warning it is the only road to a permanent agreement.
President-elect Joe Biden declared that he would return the U.S. to a nuclear agreement with Iran and that he was still endorsing the 2015 deal signed under Barack Obama, which Donald Trump withdrew from.
Returning to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), would delight US allies in Europe, but would worry the countries of the Gulf who have opposed US participation with Tehran.
Biden has suggested that he will put into the framework the US-allied Arab neighbours of Iran, including Saudi Arabia, which sees Iran as its arch-rival.
What we hope, first and foremost, is that we are fully consulted, that we and our other regional friends are fully consulted on what is going on in the Iran negotiations,’ said Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan.
“Such consultation is the only way to reach an agreement that is sustainable,” he said on the sidelines of a security conference in Manama, Bahrain.
As a result of the JCPOA’s after-effects, I think we have seen that not involving the regional countries leads to a build-up of mistrust and neglect of the issues of real concern and of real influence on regional stability.” Asked if the Biden administration was already in touch with the shape of a revived Iran deal, Prince Faisal said that there were no contacts yet but that we are ready t…Gulf
“We are confident that both the incoming Biden administration and our other partners, including the Europeans, have fully signed on to the need for a resolution involving all regional parties,” he said.
In recent days, Germany has said that it is important to negotiate a new, wider Iran nuclear agreement to also rein in Tehran’s ballistic missile programme, warning that the 2015 pact is no longer adequate.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, whose country currently occupies the EU presidency, spoke in the Saudi minister’s own language about a “nuclear agreement plus.”
Prince Faisal said, “I don’t know about a revived JCPOA, although one might look at a JCPOA plus plus, something well beyond the JCPOA.”
Since reviving the JCPOA as it now stands will only get us to the point where we were, which is a weak deal that does not resolve the full problems relevant to Iran nuclear activity and other original activities. Since the beginning of last year, Saudi Arabia has been attacked with scores of ballistic missile and drone attacks, including a destructive assault on the facilities of Aramco in the facilities Gulf
The Tehran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia is battling a brutal five-year war to support the globally recognised regime, reported the attack, although the U.S. said it included Iranian cruise missiles.
Prince Faisal said the JCPOA was too brief in its 10 to 15-year timeline and did not do enough to resolve the possibility of proliferation, aside from the question of its missile programme and support for proxy groups across the country.
As we have now learned from Iran ability to rapidly expand its potential to increase its enriched stockpiles of uranium, such a short period has not been adequate to curb Iran’s nuclear capability, he added.
As Saudi Arabia looks forward to establishing a friendship with the new US government, Prince Faisal said he was confident that the promise of Biden to turn the kingdom into a “pariah” was just election talk over its human rights failures.
He said, “I think electioneering brings out all sorts of comments, and I’m going to leave them at that.”
After four years of exceptionally warm links, especially between Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, the minister also suggested the kingdom will retain relations with Trump.
The kingdom remembers its mates at all times,’ he added. And of course, I’m confident we will continue to have good ties with President Trump.