US, Saudi Arabia agree on stopping Iran getting nuclear weapons

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Jeddah: During Joe Biden’s visit to the Kingdom on Friday, both the United States and Saudi Arabia agreed on the significance of preventing Iran from “acquiring nuclear weapons.”

In a statement released by the Saudi state news agency, SPA, Biden also reaffirmed the United States’ continued commitment to assisting “Saudi Arabia’s security and territorial defence, and aiding the Kingdom’s capacity to procure critical capabilities to protect its people and territory against foreign threats.”

In a joint statement, Saudi Arabia and the US emphasised the need to further thwart Iran’s meddling in “the internal affairs of other countries, its support for terrorism through its armed proxies, and its efforts to disrupt the security and stability of the region.”

Both sides emphasised the significance of ensuring the unhindered flow of business across vital international waterways, including the Strait of Hormuz and Bab al-Mandab.

The main Shi’ite and Sunni Muslim governments in the Middle East, Tehran and Riyadh, severed ties in 2016 over supporting different factions in proxy battles taking place throughout the region, from Yemen to Syria and other places.

In exchange for relief from economic sanctions, Iran inked an agreement in 2015 with six major powers to restrict its nuclear programme and to make it more difficult to develop a weapon. Iran claims that only peaceful atomic energy is the goal of its nuclear programme.

In 2018, the United States withdrew from the agreement after then-President Donald Trump claimed it was insufficient to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Since then, Iran has stepped up some nuclear activity, setting back efforts to reach an agreement in negotiations between Western powers and Tehran in Vienna.

Read: Qatar ‘likely’ venue for Iran, US nuclear deal talks

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