Saudi Arabia condemns Iranian 'deception'

Saudi Arabia’s cabinet accuses Iran of being “deceptive and evasive” about its nuclear program.

Ben Ariel ,

Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s cabinet on Tuesday accused Iran of being “deceptive and evasive” about its nuclear program.

A cabinet statement carried on the state Saudi Press Agency and quoted by Reuters also called on Iran to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its inspectors.

The statement comes a day after the IAEA released a report confirming that Iran is restarting uranium enrichment at the underground Fordow facility, in violation of the 2015 nuclear deal it signed with world powers.

Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal in response to US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement last May.

Iran and Saudi Arabia are regional rivals which back opposing sides in the wars in Yemen and Syria, where the Iranian regime supports President Bashar Al-Assad while the Saudis back the rebels trying to oust him.

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly called on Iran to stop its “meddling” in the affairs of the kingdom's neighbors.

Iran has fired back, accusing Saudi Arabia of trying to “drag the entire region into confrontation”.

Saudi Arabia has been critical of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, describing it as a "flawed agreement".

Saudi Arabia's crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, made headlines last year when he said in a television interview that his country was prepared to pursue nuclear weapons if Iran is successful in obtaining an atomic arsenal.