Prince Saud: Iran needs to be more forthcoming on its nuclear program

February 13, 2013

Speaking at a press conference in Riyadh yesterday, Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal criticized Iran’s lack of cooperation with the international community in resolving its nuclear crisis. During a joint appearance with Austrian Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Dr. Michael Spindelegger, the Saudi Foreign Minister stated, “The Iranian nuclear file was among the topics that was discussed in our meeting today, especially in light of the lack of response by Iran to diplomatic efforts aimed at resolving this crisis peacefully and removing the doubts that surround it to ensure the peaceful use of the program in accordance with the criteria and procedures of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and under its supervision.”

Asked about the possibility of reaching a settlement between Iran and the international community regarding the former’s uranium enrichment, Prince Saud responded, “It is natural and necessary to reach a deal between Iran and the international community. However, Iran should abide by the international rules in force, notably on increasing its nuclear arsenal in the region.” He pointed out, “Iran did say that it was pursuing a peaceful path, but actually it was working on manufacturing an atomic bomb . . . If that was its intention, then it breached the international community’s rules and U.N. laws and resolutions.”

The ideal solution to the problem, Prince Saud argued, is to create a Middle East free of nuclear weapons. He reaffirmed the Kingdom’s position against nuclear arms proliferation, expressing concern that the acquisition of such weapons by any country could create a domino effect. Relating this stance to Iran, the Foreign Minister explained, “We are seeking neither a conciliation nor a settlement between Iran and any entity that wants to negotiate with Iran. Instead, we are seeking a solution to evade any increase in nuclear weapons in the Middle East. We would like to see a nuclear-free Middle East, as this is the policy we are pursuing.”