Saudi FM: ‘All bets off’ if Iran obtains a nuclear weapon

December 11, 2022
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan speaking in an on-stage interview at the World Policy Conference in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. (Screen grab)
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan speaking in an on-stage interview at the World Policy Conference in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. (Screen grab)

Saudi Gazette report

ABU DHABI — Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan said that the failure in concluding a nuclear agreement with Iran will enter the region into a very dangerous phase.

In an on-stage interview at the World Policy Conference in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, Prince Faisal said that Iran’s Gulf Arab neighbors would act to shore up their security if Tehran were to obtain nuclear weapons.

“If Iran gets an operational nuclear weapon, all bets are off,” the minister said when asked about such a scenario.

“We are in a very dangerous space in the region and you can expect that regional states will certainly look towards how they can ensure their own security.”

The minister’s reaction came at a time when Iran’s nuclear talks have stalled with Western powers, who in turn accused Tehran of raising unreasonable demands.

Though Riyadh remained “skeptical” about the Iran nuclear deal, Prince Faisal said it supported efforts to revive the pact “on condition that it be a starting point, not an end point” for a stronger deal with Tehran.

The Gulf States have pressed for a stronger agreement that addresses their concerns about Iran’s missiles and drones program and network of regional proxies.

“The signs right now are not very positive, unfortunately,” Prince Faisal said. “We hear from the Iranians that they have no interest in a nuclear weapons program, it would be very comforting to be able to believe that. We need more assurance on that level.”

In response to a question about the failure to reach a nuclear agreement with Iran, the foreign minister stated that the Kingdom will continue to push for an agreement, considering that the aforementioned agreement — if it is reached — is only a first step and not the last.

He noted that reaching a nuclear agreement does not mean that there are guarantees that Tehran will not seek to produce nuclear weapons.

Prince Faisal stressed that dialogue with China, the second-largest economy in the world, is a very important issue. He said polarization is the last thing the world needs at the present time.

Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the Kingdom last Wednesday and held a number of summits with the leaders of Saudi Arabia, the Gulf, and the Arab region.

Prince Faisal revealed about presenting an updated version of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman’s vision for cooperation among the Gulf states.

On the oil file, he made it clear that the Kingdom will continue to work to stabilize oil prices through dialogue with all partners.

“Oil prices are now fair and stable. The price of oil must be fair to the consumer and the producer, and we explained that to America,” he said.

Regarding the relations between Saudi Arabia and Russia, he said that relations are good between Riyadh and Moscow and that this must be built on through dialogue, which helped the Kingdom to mediate deals to release some prisoners.

Regarding the difference between the Republican and Democratic administrations in the United States of America, the minister said that the interests and areas of cooperation between Washington and the Gulf states will remain strong despite the differences.

On the Middle East crisis, Prince Faisal affirmed that the Kingdom supports the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

In replying to Saudi domestic matters, the foreign minister stated that the priority is for the welfare of the Saudi people and achieving their sustainable growth.

“The Kingdom is undergoing radical changes according to a clear road map,” he added.

December 11, 2022
51 minutes ago

Saudi Arabia launches 'Makkah Route’ initiative in Turkey

hour ago

Saudi Fashion Commission, Paris Fashion Institute launch two leading training programs

hour ago

Saudi Arabia to host Arab-Chinese business conference on June 11