Saudi Arabia to build nuclear bomb if Iran does so: FM

REUTERS  Abduljabbar Zeyad  File

"'We will find the right way and at the right time to respond to this", he warned.

The Iranian crude oil export took a nosedive after sanctions were imposed on the country back in 2012, limiting its oil production to 2.5 million barrels per day (it had previously been 3.8 million).

"Following the USA decision to withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran, Saudi Arabia is committed to supporting the stability of oil markets for the benefit of producers and consumers and the sustainability of the global economic growth", the official said.

The US President declared on May 8 that the country had withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal due to it being "defective at its core", despite attempts by European Union countries to persuade him to keep the deal. This fact has been at the heart of Western and regional concerns over the nuclear work of Iran, Saudi Arabia's arch-rival which enriches uranium domestically.

That raised worries of a quick rise in oil prices.

In remarks an hour before Trump's declaration, senior Kuwaiti diplomat Khaled al-Jarallah said his country stood by the JCPOA as the best option for "stability" in the region.

Arab League's (AL) Secretary General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit called on Wednesday for an urgent review on the Iran nuclear deal, AL said in a statement.

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Qatar, alienated by a Saudi-led boycott, said priority must be given to non-proliferation and preventing a nuclear arms race. The International Atomic Energy Agency, too, said Iran had committed no violations.

The outlines of that agreement remain unclear, and may not be entirely clear to Washington and Riyadh, but the understanding is vital to the successful implementation of sanctions. At the core of the USA sanctions is a threat to cut-off companies that deal with Iran or its companies from the U.S. banking system.

Trump said his decision to leave the JCPOA was created to counter that possibility.

Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told CBS News in March, "Saudi Arabia does not want to acquire any nuclear bomb, but without a doubt, if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible".

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affaris, Anwar Gargash, tweeted that Iran had been emboldened by the nuclear deal, and "its ballistic missile programme became both offensive & exportable". A decade ago, Iran' and Saudi Arabia's neighbor, the United Arab Emirates, pledged not to engage in any enrichment or reprocessing activities whether the materials and facilities were supplied by the United States or others.

Riyadh has long accused its regional archfoe Tehran of supplying Yemen's rebels with ballistic missiles, a charge Tehran denies.

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