News / Middle East

Saudi Arabia Cautiously Welcomes Iran Nuclear Deal

FILE - Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah
FILE - Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah
VOA News
Saudi Arabia has joined other Gulf Arab states in cautiously welcoming a nuclear deal between Iran and a group of world powers.

The Saudi government said the agreement "could be" a first step toward a comprehensive solution to the Iranian nuclear dispute, "provided there is goodwill."

Recent Developments in Iran Nuclear Agreement:

2012
  • January: International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] confirms Iran is refining uranium to 20% fissile purity.
  • February:  UN inspectors end talks in Tehran without inspecting disputed military site at Parchin.
  • April: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vows Iran will not surrender its nuclear rights.
  • May: UN inspectors report they found find traces significantly upgraded uranium at an Iranian site.
  • July: EU begins total ban on Iranian oil imports; US expands sanctions.
  • September: IAEA demands access to Parchin; Iran calls EU sanctions "irresponsible."
  • December: IAEA says it makes progress in talks with Iran.  US imposes more sanctions.

2013
  • January: Iran says it will speed up nuclear fuel work.
  • February: Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rejects direct nuclear talks with the U.S. Iran and world powers meet, agree to more talks.
  • May: IAEA says Iran has expanded nuclear activity.
  • September: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says Iran will not seek weapons of mass destruction. Iran and world powers agree to resume nuclear talks.
  • October: Iran holds talks with five permanent members of U.N. Security Council and Germany.
  • November: Iran agrees to limit or freeze parts of its nuclear program for six months in return for the easing of some sanctions.
Under the deal signed in Geneva on Sunday, Iran agrees to limit or freeze parts of its nuclear program for six months.  In return, the United Nations Security Council and six world powers will ease some sanctions on the Iranian economy.

The negotiations have strained relations between Saudi Arabia and the United States in recent months.

Sunni Arab Gulf nations have long feared that Iran will divert its nuclear activities to make atomic weapons, enabling the Shi'ite-majority nation to boost its regional influence at the expense of Sunnis.  Iran maintains its nuclear program is peaceful.

During a Monday speech in San Francisco, President Barack Obama credited the deal with Iran to what he calls clear-eyed and principled diplomacy and unprecedented sanctions.

He said if Iran seizes the opportunity to join the global community, the U.S. can begin to chip away at the mistrust that has existed with Iran for decades.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Monday the European Union could lift some sanctions against Iran next month.  But he told French radio that any easing will be "limited, targeted and reversible."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he is sending a national security team to Washington in the coming days to consult with the Obama administration on a permanent resolution to the Iranian nuclear dispute. Netanyahu calls the Geneva agreement a "historic mistake" because it allows Iran to maintain nuclear facilities that could be weaponized in the future.  Israeli leaders see a nuclear-armed Iran as a threat to their nation's existence because of Iran's frequent calls for Israel's demise.

Monday's Saudi statement said the Geneva agreement should be followed by a comprehensive solution that "leads to the removal of weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear, from the Middle East."  Riyadh also called for unspecified further steps to "guarantee a right of all states in the region to use nuclear power peacefully."

Four other Gulf states also issued statements expressing hope that the Iran nuclear deal will safeguard regional peace and stability.  Those nations include Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

You May Like

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

Video One Year After Massacre, Iraq’s Yazidis a Broken People

Minority community still recovering from devastating assault by IS militants which spurred massive outrage More

‘Malvertisements’ Undermine Internet Trust

Hackers increasingly prey on users' trust of major websites to delivery malicious software More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
November 26, 2013 3:09 AM
Now it becomes Israel only which opposes this agreement. It is great progress that Sunni Arab Gulf nations have welcomed the decision of Shi'ite-majority nation like Iran. I am sure, in tuern adding giving up of nuclear development, Iran would also stop alleged its help for Ḥizb Allāh, actually terolist groups in Lebanon.

by: Dr Holenbrook from: Chatham, UK
November 26, 2013 12:38 AM
who cares what these revolting Saudi reprobates may think or say..? Iran is fearful of only one nation... and its not the USA... its Israel. And with all the Iranian boasting and silly posturing and idiotic chantings... they know how vulnerable they are to a devastating strike by Israel. The Mullahs know quite well that their lives will be consumed by their own Arab inhabitants inside Iran. Iran is a polyglot fetid amalgamation of different hate groups who just wait for an opportunity to strike back at the Mullahs... Hatred along sectarian affiliations, religious suppression, and tribal loyalties run very deep in Iran... exactly like the scenario we see in Syria today... and now, with Israel decoupling from the US... Israel will find its own voice - and the voice is thunder...!!! I know how shaken the Mullahs are, now that Israel is no longer constrained by the US...
In Response

by: Hassan from: Iran
November 26, 2013 11:22 AM
I agree with everything you say Dr H. in fact Iran has been executing thousands and thousands of Arab minorities who where systematically suppressed for decades. The "final solution" for the religious Arab minorities in Iran has been in progress for decades - the "West" has known about it and has done NOTHING to prevent it from progressing. and now Obama legitimized the murderous clerical ruling corruption of Iran.

by: Awinbilla Ishaq from: Ghana
November 25, 2013 11:36 PM
This is a welcomig news,infact the iranian populace have suffered for loong.Is israel saying they are wiser than the six powerful countries that negotiated the deal? They should know that they are worst than Iran.I give thumb up to the USA.

by: K from: USA
November 25, 2013 2:27 PM
If you can't beat them join them. Couldn't change world opinion, specially US, to go to war now we play nice. Such irony.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs