Saudi Arabia wants nuclear bombs if Iran restarts its weapons programme

Simon Moss
May 10, 2018

Despite US criticism that the accord does not go far enough in monitoring Iran's nuclear activities, the IAEA points to the fact that its inspectors have spent 3,000 man days per year on the ground in Iran.

US sanctions on Iran will have a six-month period during which buyers should "wind down" oil purchases, meaning any loss of supply will not be immediately felt in the market.

"The kingdom of Saudi Arabia is committed to support the stability of the global oil markets to serve the interests of both producers and consumers and also the sustainability of global economic growth", the ministry statement said.

Riyadh and Tel Aviv have been working covertly to normalize ties and form an alliance against Iran based on their opposition to the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and the Islamic Republic's growing regional influence. "Saudi Arabia will not in any way act independently of its partners", the sources added.

The United States and Saudi Arabia appear to have reached a high-level political understanding in which the United States will intensify pressure on Iran in exchange for Saudi Arabia agreeing to help avoid a spike in oil prices.

That raised worries of a quick rise in oil prices.

"The Secretary-General reminds all parties to the conflict that they must uphold worldwide humanitarian law, including taking steps to protect civilians", said a statement issued on behalf of the Secretary-General, by his Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric.

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Qatar, alienated by a Saudi-led boycott, said priority must be given to non-proliferation and preventing a nuclear arms race. The JCPOA is in America's interest - it has significantly rolled back Iran's nuclear program. It violates United Nations resolutions with regards to ballistic missiles.

Trump said his decision to leave the JCPOA was created to counter that possibility.

For all these reasons, Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members will come under intense pressure to raise their output to make up for any loss of Iranian barrels.

Riyadh, which leads a regional coalition that meddling in Yemen's civil war to fight the Houthis, accuses Iran of supplying the militia with ballistic missiles.

Iran, the third-largest OPEC producer, could deliver involuntary cuts to supply forced by US sanctions and Trump's exit from the nuclear deal - fundamental to the resumption of Iran as a major oil producer and exporter.

Saudi Arabia and its close allies Abu Dhabi and Kuwait hold nearly all the spare capacity that could respond quickly to a reduction in Iranian exports.

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