Saudi Arabia says it sees emboldened Iran in Middle East
WASHINGTON, Aug.3 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said on Tuesday he saw an emboldened Iran act negatively in the Middle East, endangering navigation, arming Yemen’s Houthis and contributing to the stalemate politics in Lebanon.
“Across the region, Iran continues to be emboldened,” Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud told a US think tank in an online appearance, alluding to reports that Iranian-backed forces seized an oil tanker off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. Read more
“Iran is extremely active in the region with its negative activity, whether it continues to supply the Houthis with arms or endanger navigation in the Persian Gulf, reports of which we have received today that could indicate additional activity there, “he said. Iran, he added, has encouraged the political stalemate that has plagued the Lebanese economy.
Addressing a virtual meeting of the Aspen Security Forum, he also reiterated Riyadh’s position that he could live with a “longer and stronger” version of Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with the powers that be. global if it ensured that Tehran never obtained nuclear weapons know-how.
“We certainly support a deal with Iran as long as this deal ensures that Iran will not now or never have access to nuclear weapon technology,” he said, saying Riyadh would welcome an Iran that contributes to regional stability and prosperity.
“But that would require (Iran) to engage in the region as a state actor in a normal way …, not to support militias, not to send weapons to armed groups and, above all, to abandon a nuclear program that could be used … to develop nuclear weapons. “
Reporting by Arshad Mohammed and Daphne Psaledakis Editing by Mark Heinrich
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