Publish date23 Nov 2020 - 9:26
Story Code : 483076

Saudis concerned over return of US return to JCPOA

Saudi Arabia expressed deep concern over return of the US under the new administration which it hopes is not “naïve enough” to return to the historical deal calling for a new deal including Riyadh.
Saudis concerned over return of US return to JCPOA
Abdallah Al-Mouallimi on Sunday dismissed the idea that the United States would re-enter the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, under a Joe Biden administration.

The Saudi diplomat said nobody would be “naïve enough” to go back to a deal that has “proven its failure to the entire world.”

Speaking during an appearance on Fox News’ ‘America’s News HQ’, Al-Mouallimi said he did not believe Biden’s administration would pivot from the Persian Gulf states back to Iran and the nuclear deal.

“No, I think that the Iran nuclear deal has proven its failure to the entire world. And I don’t think that anybody is going to be naive enough to go back to the same deal,” he said.

“If there is a new deal in which Saudi Arabia is involved in the discussion and which covers the shortcomings of the previous deal … then we will be all for it.”

His comments come as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Saudi Arabia as part of a regional tour aimed at maintaining the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” against Iran a few weeks before transferring power to the next president.

Pompeo met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in NEOM to discuss bilateral relations, areas of cooperation and ways to enhance them.

They also discussed regional and international developments, Saudi Press Agency reported.

There was no mention of Iran in the official reports from the meeting; however, Pompeo had earlier tweeted that “deterring Iran’s malign influence” will be a focus of his talks with Bin Salman.
In Saudi Arabia where I’ll meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. I look forward to discussing our efforts to counter terrorism, deter Iran’s malign influence, promote respect for human rights, and expand our two-way trade relationship.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) November 22, 2020
The US secretary of state embarked on a regional tour earlier this week, which included Turkey, Israel, the UAE and Qatar, where he attended talks with Taliban negotiators in Doha.

Pompeo traveled to Saudi Arabia from the UAE, where he met Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed to discuss security cooperation and countering Iran’s influence in the region, as well as that of China, the US State Department said.

Pompeo and Bin Zayed also discussed Abu Dhabi’s decision to normalize ties with Israel.

In the past few months, Israel has signed US-brokered normalization deals with the UAE, Bahrain, and Sudan, and some other countries in the Arab world are also expected to follow suit.

The Saudi foreign minister said Saturday his country supports “full normalization” of ties with the Israeli regime provided that its only precondition is met.

Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud announced that Riyadh supports full normalization with Israel, but first, a permanent and complete peace agreement should be approved that guarantees the Palestinians their state with dignity.

The normalization deals, however, have drawn widespread condemnation from Palestinians, who seek an independent state in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital. They say the deals ignore their rights and do not serve the Palestinian cause, calling out the UAE, Bahrain, and Sudan for betraying their cause.

Until this year, Israel had only current formal relations with just two Arab states - its neighbors Egypt and Jordan - established under peace deals reached decades ago.
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