Envoy Hits Back at Saudi Arabia for Questioning Iran’s Nuclear Activities

Iran’s ambassador to the international organizations in Vienna hit back at his Saudi counterpart for expressing concern about Tehran’s nuclear program, saying the kingdom itself has refused to provide the UN nuclear agency with even minimum necessary verification authorities.

In a post on his Twitter account on Thursday, Iranian envoy Kazem Gharibabadi lashed out his Saudi counterpart in Vienna for accusing Iran of pursuing capabilities to produce a nuclear weapon.

“For the KSA, the IAEA is not being provided with even minimum necessary verification authorities. A failure to implement the safeguards by rescinding the SQPs (small quantities protocols), could allow them to hide certain nuclear activities without them being subject to the IAEA inspections,” the Iranian ambassador said.

His comments came after Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the UN and international organizations in Vienna, Prince Abdullah Bin Khalid Bin Sultan, alleged in a series of tweets that Iran’s move to produce uranium metal enriched to 20 percent purity is a matter of concern in terms of its real intentions.

“This approach negatively affects any negotiations related to the nuclear agreement as the knowledge gained from research and development work cannot be reversed,” the Saudi envoy said.

“The escalatory steps announced by Iran do not match with its statements about the peacefulness of its nuclear program and confirm its intentions and pursuit of the capabilities to produce a nuclear weapon,” the Saudi prince claimed.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has made it clear that Tehran’s move to produce silicide fuel plate using 20% enriched uranium is for peaceful purposes at the Tehran Research Reactor, noting that the UN nuclear agency has been informed of the decision.

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