DUBAI – Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said Saturday the kingdom was optimistic that it had “excellent relations” with the new administration of President Joe Biden and would continue to speak with Washington about the Iranian nuclear deal.
“I am optimistic. Saudi Arabia has built solid historical relationships in which it has worked with various administrations. We will continue to do this with President Biden,” said Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud in an interview with Arabiya TV.
During the election campaign, Biden promised to reassess relations with Saudi Arabia, a state that he described as a “pariah” in 2019.
Biden has announced that he will represent the Saudi human rights record and the devastating Yemen war more firmly.
Prince Faisal said Riyadh would continue to consult Washington on the Iranian nuclear deal.
The United States withdrew in 2018 from the 2015 agreement between major powers and Iran, according to which Iran withheld its nuclear program in exchange for being exempt from economic sanctions.
“Basically, I believe the consultations are about reaching a solid and strong agreement that takes into account Iran’s non-compliance … with strong oversight factors to ensure the deal is implemented,” said Prince Faisal.
Biden said if Tehran resumed strict compliance with the agreement, Washington would too.
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Saudi Arabia and its allies in the Gulf, including the United Arab Emirates, concerned about Iran’s ballistic missile and regional network of representatives, backed Trump’s campaign with maximum pressure on Tehran and welcomed his decision to end the nuclear deal and sanctions To impose Iran again.
This time, they say they should be involved in possible negotiations between the Biden government and Iran on a new nuclear deal to ensure that it addresses Iran’s missile capabilities and “malicious activities”.
The Saudi minister reiterated the kingdom’s stance that a peace agreement with Israel depends on the implementation of the Arab peace initiative.