King Salman: Iran must cooperate in nuclear deal, stop supporting militias in region
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz called on Iran to stop supporting militias in the region and asked it to cooperate with international efforts to revive the abandoned 2015 nuclear deal, state news agency SPA reported on Wednesday.
“Iran is a neighbor to the Kingdom, and we hope it will change its negative policies and behaviors in the region and moves towards dialogue and cooperation,” the King said in an annual speech to the Shura Council.
The King said Saudi Arabia was “following with great concern the Iranian regime’s destabilizing policy of security and stability in the region.”
The Kingdom, along with other Gulf countries, have long said Iran needed to stop its malign activities in the region through providing financial and military support to its network of proxy militias across the Middle East, including in countries such as Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria.
The King listed Iran’s “negative” activities: “The formation and support of sectarian and armed militias, the systemic deployment of its military capabilities in regional countries and its failure to cooperate with the international community regarding its nuclear program and the development of ballistic missiles.”
The King's speech comes at a time when tensions are high over whether the Vienna talks to revive the abandoned 2015 Iran nuclear deal will succeed.
Diplomats from Britain, China, France, Germany, and Russia – with in-direct participation from the US – have been trying to bring Washington back into the accord and convince Tehran to comply with the deal and implement all the restrictions on its nuclear program.
Saudi Arabia and Gulf countries believe it’s necessary to be included in nuclear talks because they directly affect the region.