Saudi Arabia: Iran's increased nuclear activities threaten regional security

Saudi official expresses concern about increased nuclear activities by Iran.

Elad Benari, Canada ,


Saudi Arabia is concerned about increased nuclear activities by Iran which threaten regional security, a Saudi foreign ministry official told Reuters on Friday.

Riyadh "is greatly concerned about the increased pace of Iran's nuclear activities and development of capabilities ... that are not consistent with peaceful purposes", the Saudi official said.

The official added that Iran's moves to produce uranium enriched to 60% fissile purity and uranium metal to 20% "represent an increasing threat" to regional security and non-proliferation of weapons.

They hamper efforts to secure "a comprehensive nuclear deal that ensures global and regional security and stability," the official said.

The comments come several days after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that Iran has begun the process of producing enriched uranium metal.

Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal it signed with world powers in response to former US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018.

In April, the Islamic Republic announced it would begin enriching uranium to 60% purity, a move that would take the uranium much closer to the 90% suitable for a nuclear bomb.

Last month, Iran announced it has already produced 6.5 kg (14 lb) of uranium enriched to up to 60%.

Iran and Saudi Arabia are regional rivals though they launched direct talks in April aimed at containing tensions.

Saudi Arabia has been critical of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, describing it as a "flawed agreement".

During the negotiations between Iran and world powers on the 2015 nuclear deal, Saudi Arabia and other major Sunni states expressed concern over a deal which would allow Iran to produce nuclear weapons – a position which placed them very close to Israel’s position on the matter.

Ultimately, however, Saudi Arabia's government announced that it welcomed the deal.

Last month, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Bin Abdullah, told IAEA chief Rafael Grossi that the Iranian nuclear sites must be inspected.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)