Saudi Arabia must end blame game if it wants to develop nuclear weapons
Iran’s permanent representative to Vienna-based international organizations has stated that Saudi officials should stop engaging in blame-shifting if it wants to go down the path of developing nuclear weapons and come up with an excuse for avoiding collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
In two separate tweets posted on Tuesday, Kazem Gharibabadi responded to recent anti-Iranian comments by Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir, who told the DPA news agency in an interview that the kingdom “reserves the right” to arm itself with nuclear weapons in case Iran cannot be stopped from making one.
“Scapegoating and fearmongering are two common and classic methods used by demagogues!” Gharibabadi tweeted.
“If you want to pursue a nuclear weapon program, or you are seeking for an excuse to justify your lack of cooperation with the IAEA or your outdated safeguard system, at least have the courage to admit it and pay the price for it, don’t blame your wrongdoings on others by lies,” he said.
Riyadh’s nuclear ambitions have become a serious source of heightened concern for the global community in recent years, particularly after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman first hinted in 2018 that the kingdom might go down the nuke path.
During a trip to the United States in mid-March 2018, the heir to the Saudi throne remarked that if Iran develops a nuclear bomb, “we will follow suit as soon as possible.”
The kingdom has thus far kept its nuclear activities secret, rejecting calls for it to implement the IAEA’s Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements, a comprehensive system of inspection and verification of the peaceful uses of nuclear materials.
Reports about Saudi Arabia’s secret nuclear activities were confirmed earlier this year by satellite images, which clearly showed a large compound in a location in the middle of the desert.
Citing Western authorities, The Wall Street Journal announced in early August that Saudi Arabia, with Chinese assistance, has built a facility for extraction of yellowcake from uranium ore near the remote town of al-Ula.
The New York Times also said American intelligence agencies had found what seemed to be an undeclared nuclear site not too far from the town of al-Uyaynah, which is located 30 kilometers northwest of Riyadh, and its Solar Village.
Iran has stated that its retaliatory measures are definitely reversible if the other sides fulfill their contractual JCOPA obligations.