Riyadh calls for ‘permanent ban’ on Iran’s uranium enrichment
Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud has claimed that Saudi Arabia is not opposed to a possible return of the United States to the historic nuclear deal, but that a “permanent ban” should be imposed on Iran’s uranium enrichment program.
In a recent interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica published this past Saturday, he stated that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) did not really address Iran’s regional activities.
“We hope that all issues of concern to the Iranians will be confronted, chief among them the necessity to impose a permanent ban on uranium enrichment, and not to enable Iran to return to these activities in the past.”
Iran has always enunciated its nuclear program as entirely civilian, subject to the most intensive UN eaminations ever.
Tehran signed the JCPOA back in 2015 with six world countries, which led to the forging of close collaboration between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Nevertheless, the administration of US President Donald Trump severely undermined the deal by withdrawing from it in May 2018 in spite of numerous IAEA reports on Tehran’s full compliance with the deal.
Saudi Arabia backed Trump's unilateral abandonment of the JCPOA and his subsequent “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran.
Iran, however, remained fully compliant with the JCPOA for one whole year, waiting for the co-signatories to fulfill their end of the bargain by offsetting the effects of harsh American sanctions on the Iranian economy.
And when the European parties failed to do so, Iran moved in May 2019 to suspend a portion of its JCPOA commitments under Articles 26 and 36 of the deal concrerning Tehran’s legal rights.
US president-elect Joe Biden has vowed to rejoin the JCPOA, which was inked back when he was the US vice president under President Barack Obama, if Iran returns to full compliance.