Riyadh slams Iran, US nuclear policies

Saudi Arabia has denounced Iran's uranium enrichment programme, but also criticised US policy toward countries seeking nuclear weapons as inconsistent.

    Iran's programme can generate the nuclear core of warheads

    Turki Al-Faisal, the Saudi ambassador to the United States said in a speech on Wednesday that Iran's pursuit of a nuclear programme was worsening tensions in the Middle East.

    "It escalates the tensions, and brings about competition which is unneeded and unnecessary and uncalled for," Al-Faisal told an audience of about 250 political and business leaders in a speech organised by the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations.

    Although Iranian officials have said they want to make fuel through enrichment, the activity can also generate the nuclear core of warheads.

    Double standard

    Al-Faisal said Iranians support their government's uranium enrichment programme partially because they see a double standard in US policy.

    "They see the US government negotiating with North Korea ... and they see the US signing a nuclear peace agreement with India .... and they see the US turning a blind eye completely to Israel, although Israel has the most nuclear weapons in our part of the world," he said.

    Al-Faisal called on US officials to advocate a totally nuclear-free Middle East instead of picking and choosing whose nuclear programmes to oppose.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?