Breaking: Iran diplomat: Saudis must drop blame game if they want to develop nuclear weapons
Iran’s permanent representative to Vienna-based international organizations says Saudi officials should stop engaging in blame-shifting if Riyadh is down the path of developing nuclear weapons and seeks to invent an excuse for avoiding cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
According to Press TV, in two tweets posted late on Tuesday, Kazem Gharibabadi responded to recent anti-Iranian remarks by Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir, who told the DPA news agency in a recent interview that the kingdom “reserves the right” to arm itself with nuclear weapons if Iran cannot be stopped from making one.
“Scapegoating and fearmongering are two common and classic methods used by demagogues!” Gharibabadi wrote.
“If you want to pursue a nuclear weapon program, or you are seeking for an excuse to justify your lack of cooperation with the IAEA or your outdated safeguard system, at least have the courage to admit it and pay the price for it, don’t blame your wrongdoings on others by lies,” he added.
Riyadh’s nuclear ambitions have become a source of heightened concern for the global community in recent years, especially after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman first hinted in 2018 that the kingdom may go for nukes.
During a trip to the US in mid-March 2018, the heir to the Saudi throne said if Iran develops a nuclear bomb, “we will follow suit as soon as possible.”
The kingdom has so far kept its nuclear activities secret, defying calls for it to implement the IAEA’s Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements, a system of inspection and verification of the peaceful uses of nuclear materials.
Reports about Saudi Arabia’s undeclared nuclear activities were confirmed earlier this year by satellite images, which showed a large compound in a suspicious location in the heart of the desert.
Citing Western officials, The Wall Street Journal reported in early August that Saudi Arabia, with Chinese help, has built a facility for extraction of yellow cake from uranium ore near the remote town of al-Ula.