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Saudi Arabia cautiously welcomes Iran nuclear deal

AFP , Monday 25 Nov 2013
Saudi
Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal (Photo: Reuters)
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Saudi Arabia cautiously welcomed on Monday the Geneva nuclear deal reached between Iran and world powers, saying "good intentions" could lead to a comprehensive agreement on Tehran's controversial atomic programme.

"This agreement could be a first step towards a comprehensive solution for Iran's nuclear programme, if there are good intentions," the Saudi government said in a statement.

The landmark deal reached Sunday would curb parts of Iran's nuclear programme in return for some relief from international sanctions.

Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia has been locked in a decades-long rivalry with Shia-dominated Iran.

The government said a comprehensive solution should lead to the "removal of all weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear, from the Middle East and the Gulf."

Such solution should be followed by "important steps" that would guarantee the right of all states in the region to use nuclear power for peaceful purposes, it added, the SPA state news agency reported.

The deal was reached following marathon talks in Geneva between Iran and the so-called P5+1 nations comprising the United States, China, France, Britain, Russia and Germany.

The West and Israel suspect Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons capability alongside its uranium enrichment programme, which Tehran insists is entirely for peaceful purposes.

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Samantha Criscione
25-11-2013 06:26pm
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Why do the Saudis pay lip service to this agreement?
The Saudi reaction indicates the purpose of this suddenly-concluded agreement. The Israelis are perfectly right that the agreement gives Iran relief from sanctions, meaning lots more cash to spend on proxy forces in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon; a great boost in prestige, which also aids those proxy forces; and permits the Iranian regime to continue to develop nuclear weapons. All this targets, among others, the Saudi ruling class -- so why does Saudi Arabia make the absurd statement that the agreement can be good if there are good intentions, when they know perfectly well that Ayatollah Khamenei's intentions have never changed? The reason is that they are aware that the spectacle of the Western powers, Russia and China embracing Iran in this way is meant to intimidate them, plus they don't want to appear to be taking the same position as Israel, regardless of what they really think. Other than Saudi Arabia and Israel and the Gulf states, what are the targets of this sudden boost in Ayatollah power? The targets are all those millions of people who oppose clerical fascism, especially in the Middle East, and first and foremost in Egypt. That is why for years there was no agreement between the West and Iran, and then, when the US and EU failed to intimidate the Egyptian interim government into releasing Morsi and returning him to power, and instead the Egyptian government cleared the two terror camps, then suddenly the EU and US withdrew all their mediators from Egypt and embraced Iran. It is the Iranian clerical fascists -- in suddenly renewed friendship with the Turkish fascist, Erdogan -- who are designated by the EU and US to do the job of intimidating all antifascists, first and foremost the Egypt government, army and people. But the Iranian clerical fascist regime has one huge weakness: most Iranians oppose clerical fascism. And the Egyptian interim government has one great strength: the refusal of the Egyptian people to be ruled by the Brotherhood clerical fascists, or any others. In embracing Iran publicly, the US and EU have in effect paid Egyptians a great compliment, because the US and EU have shown how much they fear the gigantic boost the Egyptian revolution has given to anti-fascism, posing an immense danger to the regimes in Turkey and Iran. The fears of the EU and US governments, and of the fascist regimes they sponsor and promote, are justified. -- Samantha Criscione
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Jossef
26-11-2013 03:01am
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Right on Target
This analysis is right on target; do not believe any public statement from the Saudis; they are

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