While many Western superpowers are calling Israel the boy who cried wolf when it comes to a nuclear Iran, more and more voices are aligning themselves with the warnings being issued by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In an interview with the BBC, Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal al Saud warned that any terms granting Iran nuclear power would risk a wide nuclear arms race across the Middle East.
“I’ve always said whatever comes out of these talks, we will want the same,” he said.
“So if Iran has the ability to enrich uranium to whatever level, it’s not just Saudi Arabia that’s going to ask for that. The whole world will be an open door to go that route without any inhibition, and that’s my main objection,” he explained.
In order to calm the nerves of Saudi officials, US Secretary of State John Kerry recently flew to Saudi Arabia. According to the BBC, the Saudis told Kerry that Iran’s sponsorship of international terrorism, especially Hezbollah, is harming regional stability.
“Iran is already a disruptive player in various scenes in the Arab world, whether it’s Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Palestine, or Bahrain,” said Prince Turki. “So ending fear of developing weapons of mass destruction is not going to be the end of the troubles we’re having with Iran.”
Negotiators from Iran and the P5+1 resumed nuclear negotiations over the weekend as the deadline to reach a framework agreement is just two weeks away. Kerry arrived in Switzerland on Saturday to meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for several days of discussions.
Kerry stated that his main goal is to reach “a deal that would protect the world from the threat that a nuclear-armed Iran could pose.”
He added that it was “time to get it done” after 18 long months of negotiations.
As officials arrived in Switzerland to renew talks, rumors have surfaced that Iran has suddenly made new demands in the last round of negotiations. One of the demands include that the Islamic Republic be allowed to keep hundreds of centrifuges that are used to enrich uranium active in a nuclear facility buried deep underground.
While Iran has maintained that its nuclear program is for peaceful and scientific purposes only, Israel and other Arab Gulf states say otherwise. Iran has made no secret of its nuclear ambitions and the desire to destroy the State of Israel.
Iranian First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri said that his country hopes to reach an agreement with world powers as long as Washington does not bow to pressure from the Zionist lobby, Fars News Agency reported.
“At present, settlement of issues needs political will,” Jahangiri said. “There are still differences over the method of removing the sanctions and we think that if the Americans refrain from being influenced and pressured by the Zionists, certain countries and radicals, all grounds will be prepared for a comprehensive and complete agreement and we have almost arrived at that point.”