Saudi Arabia can boost oil output

"Following the US 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 Agence France-Presse reported that Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Wednesday that the country would do "everything we can" to build a nuclear bomb in that situation.

An outstanding issue in the talks is whether the Saudis will agree to forego uranium enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing, two dual-use technologies that can be used to produce fuel useable in nuclear reactors but can also be used to produce the highly enriched uranium or separated plutonium needed for nuclear weapons.

"President Trump is clearly articulating that he has minimal desire in an alternative agreement with Iran", said Ehsan Khoman, head of research for Middle East and North Africa at Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group. In an interview in mid-March, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman warned: "Without a doubt, if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible".

Jubeir's renewed vow came after US President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of an accord created to prevent Tehran's alleged quest for the bomb. Most notably, Iran's known adversaries: Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Jubeir's comments came amid growing tension between the Sunni kingdom and the Islamic republic over Iran's support for the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Then on Wednesday, Saudi Arabia's air defenses intercepted two ballistic missiles over the capital Riyadh, the latest in a series of attacks claimed by rebels in neighboring Yemen.

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".

"I believe that if Iran restarts its nuclear weapons program, beyond what it has right now, that should trigger the snapback provisions and cause all the other P5 countries to abandon the deal and re-impose sanctions on Iran", Jubeir pointed out.

Since political unrest first began in Yemen in early 2011, the United Nations has been engaged in helping Yemenis to find a peaceful solution.

"The recent Arab summits in Jordan and Saudi Arabia were clear in expressing the extreme exasperation from Iran's actions in the Arab region and in calling for the need to alter this behavior", Abul Gheit continued. "This amounts to a declaration of war".

  • Rogelio Becker