Saudi king urges 'firm stance' against Iran

"This firm stance must guarantee that the Iranian regime is prevented from obtaining weapons of mass destruction."

Tags: Saudi Arabia
AFP ,

Saudi flag
Saudi flag
iStock

Saudi Arabia's King Salman urged world powers Thursday to take a "firm stance" against its arch-rival Iran, as expectations mount that former Vice President Joe Biden will seek to revive the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran if he becomes president.

"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 program and threatening peace and security," he added in a speech delivered in the early hours.

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.

Riyadh appears wary of Biden's pledge to revive a 2015 nuclear pact between major powers and Iran, negotiated when he served as vice president under Barack Obama.

The agreement was abandoned by President Donald Trump, whose "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran was welcomed by Saudi Arabia.

The king condemned Iran-linked rebels in neighboring Yemen for repeatedly firing on civilians in the kingdom with drones and ballistic missiles.

King Salman also reiterated his support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict.

He did not address recent normalization deals between Israel and Saudi allies Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Sudan.

The king's speech comes just days before the G20 summit, which will be hosted virtually by Riyadh on November 21 and 22.



top