'Iran Deal Must Not Destabilize Region'

France and Saudi Arabia present united front, say future deal between Iran and six major powers must not destabilize the region further.

Ben Ariel ,

Negotiations on a nuclear deal
Negotiations on a nuclear deal

France and Saudi Arabia believe that any future deal between Iran and six major powers must ensure not to destabilize the region further and threaten Iran's neighbors, the two countries said Monday, according to Reuters.

Saudi Arabia invited French President Francois Hollande, whose country is deemed to have a tough stance in Iran nuclear negotiations, to Riyadh to discuss regional issues with Gulf Arab leaders who fear a rapprochement with Tehran could lead to further detribalization in the region, according to the report.

"France and Saudi Arabia confirmed the necessity to reach a robust, lasting, verifiable, undisputed and binding deal with Iran," President Hollande and Saudi Arabia's King Salman said in a statement after meeting on Monday.

"This agreement must not destabilize the security and stability of the region nor threaten the security and stability of Iran's neighbors," the statement added.

Hollande met the new Saudi King for an hour after dinner at his personal palace. The two men specifically discussed Iran's role in Yemen and Syria, where they reiterated there was no future for Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

Those talks will be widened to Gulf Cooperation Council leaders on Tuesday, noted Reuters.

The meeting comes amid continuing concern among Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries over the impending deal with Iran.

The major Sunni states, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, have warned that a final agreement could allow Shiite-dominated Iran, their regional rival, to keep the technologies needed to produce nuclear weapons.

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, recently said that Iran should not be given “deals it does not deserve”.

The concern in Saudi Arabia over the nuclear deal with rival Iran is so great, in fact, that a columnist in a Saudi-controlled government newspaper recently expressed support for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s warnings against a deal with Iran.

Global powers and Iran reached a framework agreement on April 2 but must still resolve a series of difficult technical issues by a June 30 deadline for a final deal.

Tensions arose after the preliminary framework was reached, as Iran recently accused the United States of "fraud" and "psychological warfare" in publishing a fact sheet announcing what the U.S. claims was agreed on in the framework deal and which an Iranian official called a false translation.

Iran's Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who will have the final say on any deal, plunged the accord into doubt last week suggesting that "nothing is binding" while President Hassan Rouhani demanded that sanctions be immediately lifted when any deal is signed.