Saudi wants same nuclear rights as Iran

Published March 16th, 2015 - 06:07 GMT

Saudi Arabia will seek the same rights granted to Iran during negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear program, a top Saudi prince says, adding that a possible deal may prompt other countries to develop atomic fuel.

"I've always said whatever comes out of these talks, we will want the same," Prince Turki al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia's former intelligence chief, said in an interview with the BBC on Monday.

"So if Iran has the ability to enrich uranium to whatever level, it's not just Saudi Arabia that's going to ask for that,” Faisal noted, adding, “The whole world will be an open door to go that route without any inhibition.”

Iran and the P5+1 group of countries -- the US, Britain, France, China, Russia, and Germany -- are currently working to complete the outlines of a nuclear deal by the end of March after they reached an interim agreement in November 2013.

Last week, Saudi Arabia signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with South Korea, including a plan on the feasibility of constructing two nuclear reactors in the kingdom.

Planning to build 16 nuclear power reactors in the next 20 years, Riyadh has also inked nuclear accords with China, France and Argentina.

Saudi Arabia is not alone in its opposition to Iran’s nuclear talks.

Israel has also expressed its objection to the negotiations and a possible final deal on numerous occasions. 

In a speech to the US Congress on March 3, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu depicted Iran as a "threat to the entire world” and called on Washington not to negotiate a “very bad deal” with Tehran over its nuclear program.

 He claimed that a final nuclear agreement with Iran will change the Middle East for the worst as “not a single [Iranian] nuclear facility would be demolished.”

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