Iran urges world to hold Riyadh accountable for covert nuclear work

October 13, 2020 - 18:11

TEHRAN — The Islamic Republic of Iran has called on the international community to hold Saudi Arabia responsible for its covert nuclear activities.

“It is unfortunate to see hostility from countries like Saudi Arabia, while Iran has always offered peace plans to stabilize our region,” Iran’s permanent envoy to the UN General Assembly First Committee said on Monday.

“However, they have not accepted these peace demands and have instead continued their failed policies on military solutions to confront Iran, in addition to their vicious attempts to accuse Iran,” Heidar Ali Balouji added, according to Mehr news agency.

Balouji said Iran’s nuclear activities are completely transparent, and Iran fully cooperates with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The latest reports and statements of the IAEA director-general have explicitly confirmed Iran’s cooperation, he asserted.

The ambassador said the IAEA director-general has described the recent agreement between Tehran and the Agency as a brilliant moment in diplomacy.

“I must remind the Saudi representative that only the IAEA is the competent authority to evaluate the activities of member states, not countries like Saudi Arabia, whose malice towards Iran never allows them to hear or see the real facts,” he stated.

Balouji went on to say, “Riyadh is not fully implementing the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and is not submitting even the current small amount of its plan to the IAEA for approval as the IAEA has repeatedly requested.”

He argued that the failure of the IAEA’s safeguards comes at a time when the Saudi nuclear capability appears to be able to carry out an ambitious plan that could allow the Saudis to conceal some nuclear activities without being inspected by the UN nuclear watchdog.

“Concerns about Saudi Arabia’s nuclear activities and the identification of secret nuclear sites in the desert require widespread support for a concerted international effort to hold the Saudis accountable for their actions,” the envoy remarked.

“The international community must urge Riyadh to implement the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement immediately,” Balouji said, adding, “Stopping nuclear aid to Saudi Arabia is the only way to alleviate these concerns.”

Saudi Arabia’s clandestine nuclear program, which had been revealed by whistle-blowers, was recently confirmed by satellite images showing a large compound, in a suspicious location in the middle of the desert.

The Wall Street Journal uncovered the facility constructed in a remote area in Saudi Arabia for extracting uranium yellow-cake from uranium ore. Ironically, the facility is located near a solar-panel production area.

Observers say such undeclared nuclear capabilities in the hands of the KSA are extremely worrying, in light of the abysmal Saudi human rights record.

MH/PA

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