Saudi FM: Deal welcomed as it bars Iran from going nuclear
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir re”reaffirmed Saudi Arabia's support for an agreement that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear capability”
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir has cautiously thrown his weight behind the Iranian nuclear deal by asserting that the Kingdom welcomes it as it bars Tehran from obtaining nuclear capabilities.
In a statement after his White House meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday, Al-Jubeir re”reaffirmed Saudi Arabia's support for an agreement that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear capability.”
The White House said the Saudi envoy “welcomed” the recent nuclear deal with Iran.
In a statement following a White House sit-down, U.S. officials said Obama and Al-Jubeir “welcomed” the plan reached between five international powers and Iran this week.
The meeting came after Saudi diplomats privately expressed grave misgivings that the nuclear agreement may legitimize their arch-foe Iran.
Former ambassador to the United States Bandar Bin Sultan was less diplomatic about Saudi views, describing the accord as worse than an ill-fated agreement with North Korea.
In an article published in multiple Middle Eastern outlets, he said that with billions of dollars Iran would get from unfreezing sanctions, Tehran would “wreak havoc in the Middle East which is already living a disastrous environment.”
Meanwhile, Iran's top leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the historic nuclear deal won't change Iran's policy toward the “arrogant” government of the United States.
Khamenei said Saturday in a televised speech that U.S. policy in the Middle East runs counter to Tehran's strategy and that Iran will continue to support its allies in the Middle East including the Lebanese Hezbollah, Palestinian resistance groups and the Syrian government.
Iran calls its Lebanese ally Hezbollah a “resistance movement” while the US classifies it as a terrorist group. And Iran continues to call for the destruction of Israel; Khamenei in his Saturday speech described Israel as a “terrorist, baby-killer government.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has strongly opposed the deal, saying it will enable Iran to emerge from crippling economic sanctions while doing nothing to moderate Iran's aggressive behavior around the Middle East.