Sunday, 26 May, 2019

Zarif decries 'US hypocrisy' over planned nuclear sale to Saudis

Saudi Arabia and Iran rival map Saudi Arabia and Iran rivalry map
Deanna Wagner | 23 February, 2019, 01:22

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attends talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during their meeting in the Black sea resort of Sochi, Russia. "America has employed all its power against us", Rouhani told ministers.

Washington's major European allies opposed a decision a year ago by U.S. President Donald Trump to abandon the Iran nuclear deal that included China and Russian Federation, and lifted global sanctions on Iran, in return for curbs on its nuclear program. "We consider the comprehensive strategic partnership between Iran and China as one of our most important relations", he said.

China has traditionally played little role in Middle East conflicts or diplomacy, despite relying on the region for oil, with Iran its fourth largest supplier a year ago, but has been trying to raise its profile, especially in the Arab world.

Iran's foreign minister Mohammed Javad Zarif branded his Israeli counterparts "dangerous" and accused the country of engaging in "adventurism".

"Neither human rights nor the nuclear program are the real concern of the US First a dismembered journalist; now illicit sale of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia fully expose #USHypocrisy", Zarif said in a tweet. His body has not been found.

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Unlike the United States, European powers are working to preserve the 2015 global nuclear deal with Iran.

On Tuesday February 19 US lawmakers said they were investigating whether the Trump administration has tried to rush through a deal to sell sensitive nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia without following the necessary procedures or obtaining needed safeguards from the Saudis.

US Democratic lawmakers alleged in a report released Tuesday that a proposed transfer of US nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia was being fast-tracked around a mandatory approval process.

"Our ultimate aim is to compel Iran to permanently abandon its well-documented outlaw activities and behave as a normal country", US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, when the sanctions were reimposed.

"We have inaugurated huge national projects in this situation", Rouhani said at the inauguration, adding that this comes despite efforts by the US, Israel, and their allies to increase pressure on Iran. Yin Gang, a retired researcher formerly with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said China was feeling a greater sense of urgency and may press Iran to take a "practical attitude" in light of U.S. concerns over its missile program, support for Syria's embattled leader and other USA concerns.