Riyadh: Iran nuclear deal step to comprehensive solution
A comprehensive solution on Iran’s disputed nuclear program could be reached if there were “good intentions,” Saudi Arabiya said Monday after the Islamic republic and world powers signed a breakthrough deal the day before.
The accord signed Sunday in Geneva saw Tehran curbing its nuclear program for the next six months in exchange for limited sanctions relief.
“This agreement could be a first step towards a comprehensive solution for Iran’s nuclear program, if there are good intentions,” Agence France-Presse quoted the Saudi government as saying in a statement published on the SPA state news agency.
Riyadh added that a comprehensive solution should lead to the “removal of all weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear, from the Middle East and the Gulf.”
Such solution should be followed by “important steps” that would guarantee the right of all states in the region to use nuclear power for peaceful purposes, it added.
Saudi Arabia has long expressed its doubt over Tehran’s nuclear work, fearing it is a cover for an atomic weapons program.
Israel is another country that has cast doubt over the deal, which dubbed it as a “historic mistake” and urged for months to keep up sanctions pressure.
The EU ambassador-designate to Israel, Lars Faaborg-Andersen, on Monday sought to reassure the Israelis over the nuclear deal struck with Iran.
“We very much have Israel’s security at heart,” AFP quoted Faaborg-Andersen as telling a meeting of EU ambassadors with Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz in Jerusalem.
Faaborg-Andersen condemned “inflammatory statements (on Israel) coming out of Iran,” saying it was “only natural that Israel wants to weigh in on these important negotiations that have been conducted with Iran.”
But he hailed the deal as the “first time in 10 years” at which Iran’s nuclear program had been significantly curbed.
Meanwhile, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that he was sending his national security advisor to Washington for talks with the United States on a final deal with Iran.
“I spoke yesterday with President (Barack) Obama and we agreed that in the coming days an Israeli team led by National Security Advisor Yossi Cohen would leave for talks with the United States on the final deal with Iran,” Netanyahu said in an address to the Israeli parliament.
On Sunday, President Barack Obama attempted to reassure the skeptical Netanyahu about the deal.
Obama spoke to Netanyahu by phone and said he wants to begin consultations with Israel about it immediately.