Gulf states: nuclear talks set to focus on Iranian missile program
DUBAI, June 16 (Reuters) – The Arab Gulf states on Wednesday said it would be dangerous to separate the world powers’ nuclear deal with Iran from Tehran’s missile program and its “destabilizing” behavior, and have reiterated their call to include them in the dialogue.
The world powers and Iran on Saturday began a sixth round of talks in Vienna to revive the 2015 nuclear pact which Saudi Arabia and its allies opposed for failing to address their concerns, and which the United States dropped out in 2018.
Tehran has opposed any attempt to add other issues to the deal, under which it has agreed to curtail its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions. US President Joe Biden wants to reinstate the deal abandoned by his predecessor Donald Trump.
Arab Gulf foreign ministers urged the powers to strike a deal with tighter restrictions and a longer duration, and “tie it to practical confidence-building measures” to prevent an arms race and a new conflict in the region.
In a statement after a meeting in Riyadh, they said the Gulf states should be involved in global negotiations with Tehran and were ready to “cooperate and deal seriously and effectively with the Iranian nuclear issue … on the basis of respect for sovereignty and good neighborliness. “.
The statement stressed “the danger of separating the implications of the nuclear deal” from Iran’s missile program and support for regional proxies, and urged Tehran to engage seriously in the talks and avoid escalations.
Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran, which severed ties in 2016, began direct talks in Iraq in April to contain tensions.
They are locked in a rivalry that has taken place across the region, including Yemen, where a Riyadh-led military coalition has been fighting the Iran-aligned Houthi movement for more than six years.
Reporting by Marwa Rashad; written by Raya Jalabi; edited by Mark Heinrich
Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.