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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain welcome Trump’s exit from Iran nuclear deal

The US president said in his announcement that US had consulted with ‘friends from across the Middle East’

UAE minister of state for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash said “Iran’s rhetoric and aggressive regional actions were the background to a flawed deal”. Fayez Nureldine / AFP
UAE minister of state for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash said “Iran’s rhetoric and aggressive regional actions were the background to a flawed deal”. Fayez Nureldine / AFP

The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain announced on Tuesday their support for US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, with Riyadh’s ambassador to Washington blasting Tehran’s malicious behaviour in the Middle East.

The Emirates, according to a statement released by the official news agency WAM, issued its support for Mr Trump’s decision, and called upon the international community and parties in the Iran nuclear agreement to “heed Mr Trump’s call for a Middle East free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.”

In addition, the UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash tweeted in support of Mr Trump’s decision: “Iran’s rhetoric & aggressive regional actions were the background to a flawed deal. The veneer of Tehran’s compliance contradicted its bellicose policies. President Trump’s decision is the correct one”.

He added that the problem was Iran interpretation of the deal “as concurrence of its regional hegemony.”

“An aggressive Iran was emboldened as a result & its ballistic missile program became both offensive & exportable” the senior UAE diplomat warned. Mr Gargash said that the Iran deal “would have to led to a regional nuclear race with little trust in Iran’s intentions”, and that it’s time to “rethink & a new effective regional plan.”

Both Saudi Arabia and Bahrain also issued statements welcoming Mr Trump’s decision. Riyadh’s statement, which came less than an hour after Mr Trump’s decision, said it “supports and welcomes” the US decision.

“Saudi Arabia's past support for the nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 was based on its firm belief in the need to work on everything that would limit the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East and the world” it added.

However, it then pointed to Iran’s destabilising activities in the region, especially through the development of ballistic missiles, and its support for terrorist groups in the region, such as the Houthis which “used the capabilities transferred by Iran to target civilians in the kingdom and Yemen and repeated exposure international shipping lanes, and in flagrant violation of the resolutions of the Security Council,” as reasons why it is withdrawing the support today.

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Read more:

Iran nuclear deal: Trump pulls US from landmark agreement

Europe ponders next move as Trump rejects ‘defective’ Iran deal

Comment: The only country which stands to lose from a nuclear pull-out is the US

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In Washington, Saudi ambassador Prince Khalid bin Salman reiterated the support, and said the nuclear deal “has fueled Iran’s malicious expansion driven by its extremist ideology.”

“As I said before with regards to the deal, we are on auto pilot heading towards a mountain. Deal has fueled Iran’s malicious expansion driven by its extremist ideology. It provided Iran with a financial windfall that it used to further sectarian strife/chaos in the region”, he tweeted:

Mr Trump said in his announcement that the United States consulted with our friends from across the Middle East. “We are unified in our understanding of the threat and in our conviction that Iran must never acquire a nuclear weapon,” he said.