Saudi king urges world for ‘firm stance’ against Iran
RIYADH, Nov 12: Saudi Arabia's King Salman urged world powers on Thursday to take a "firm stance" against its arch-rival Iran, as expectations mount that US President-elect Joe Biden will seek to revive a 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.
Riyadh appears wary of Biden's pledge to revisit the nuclear pact between major powers and Iran, a landmark deal that was negotiated when he served as vice president under Barack Obama.
The king's remarks come a day after the UN nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, warned that Iran's stockpile of enriched uranium has risen to more than 12 times the limit permitted under the 2015 deal since President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from it.
"The kingdom calls on the international community to take a firm stance towards the Iranian regime," the king said in his annual address to the Shura Council, the top government advisory body.
"This firm stance must guarantee that the Iranian regime is prevented from obtaining weapons of mass destruction, the development of its ballistic missile programme and threatening peace and security," he added in a speech delivered in the early hours.
Trump quit the deal in 2018, launching a "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran -- including crippling unilateral sanctions -- that was welcomed by the kingdom.
Sunni powerhouse Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran are locked in a decades-old tussle for supremacy in the Middle East, and are on opposing sides in regional conflicts from Syria to Yemen. -AFP