Economy

Saudi Arabia Wants Nuclear Weapon If Iran Acquires One, Minister Says

Saudi Arabia Wants Nuclear Weapon If Iran Acquires One, Minister Says

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain swiftly backed US President Donald Trump's decision to reimpose sanctions on Tehran.

Saudi Arabia will develop its own nuclear weapons if Iran does, Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told CNN on Wednesday, amid spiralling tensions between the regional rivals.

The existence of an understanding was confirmed by the U.S. Treasury Secretary who told reporters on Tuesday that "we have had conversations with various parties. that would be willing to increase oil supply". By then, hopefully the direction of Iranian actions on its nuclear program and any U.S responses will be clearer and allow Washington to tailor the Saudi agreement accordingly.

In retrospect, the president's tweet on April 20 blaming OPEC for high oil prices can be seen as part of the negotiating process to reach an understanding with Saudi Arabia.

"Riyadh is working closely with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which holds the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries´ presidency in 2018 and non-OPEC producer Russian Federation for "coordination and market consultations", the OPEC source said".

The agreement puts limits on Iran's nuclear programme in exchange of the lifting of global sanctions.

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OPEC up coming matches to examine output policy in Vienna. However, it provides a golden opportunity for the Trump administration to bolster nuclear negotiations with another Middle Eastern State, Saudi Arabia.

Losing significant volumes of Iranian exports as a result of sanctions will worsen the existing under-supply in the market and cause inventories to decline even faster and prices to rise even higher.

Saudi media outlets and commentators also had praise for Trump's controversial move.

July ICE Brent futures settled Wednesday at $77.21/b, up $2.36 on the day, while the June NYMEX contract rose $2.08 to $71.14/b. The two countries have long had tense relations - one of them Sunni (Saudi Arabia) and the other Shiite (Iran), they have lead proxy wars, backing opposing sides in Iraq and Syria. This does not mean that Iran will start enrichening above the 5 percent agreed in the deal immediately, but Iran's nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi has said that if such a decision is made by Iran, then it will "only need four days to ramp up to 20% enrichment".

The world's top oil exporter has previously said it wants nuclear technology only for peaceful uses, but has left unclear whether it also wants to enrich uranium to produce nuclear fuel, a process which can also be used in the production of atomic weapons. The least likely outcome is that Asian countries co-operate fully with the United States in its renewed conflict with Iran.


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