Former Saudi intelligence chief says Biden should dodge Iran nuclear deal blackmail
Turki Al Faisal warns US president-elect against re-entering Iran nuclear deal
Saudi statesman Prince Turki Al Faisal warned US president-elect Joe Biden against pursuing his stated policy goal of re-entering the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran after he takes office next year.
Prince Turki, a former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to the US, said that renegotiating the nuclear pact would allow Iran to play for time, refine its atomic technology and spread its influence across the Middle East.
“Mr president-elect, do not repeat the mistakes and shortcomings of the first deal,” Prince Turki said during an online meeting of the National Council on US-Arab Relations on Tuesday.
“Rejoining and then negotiating the other important issues would trap diplomacy and subject it to Iranian blackmail. [To] drag negotiations is a part of the Iranian negotiating strategy.”
The 2015 nuclear deal between Iran, the US and other powers traded sanctions relief for limits on Iran’s nuclear works. President Donald Trump, a Republican, exited the pact in 2018, saying it had not stopped Iran's muscle flexing, and slapped unilateral sanctions on Tehran.
Mr Biden, a Democrat, has said he wants to re-enter the deal if Iran starts complying with the rules, such as limiting the enrichment of uranium.
Prince Turki warned against pursuing another “non-comprehensive deal” that did not tackle other issues, such as Iran’s development of ballistic missiles and support for proxy militias in Lebanon, Yemen, Syria and elsewhere.
“While we all aspire to have Iran back as a normal peaceful nation state within the international community, the last 40 years’ experience with Iran's regime is not encouraging," the Saudi royal said.
“Therefore, rejoining the deal as it is would not do service to stability in our region.”
Updated: November 19, 2020 07:55 AM