Sunday , 28 November 2021

Any new Iran deal must include regional partners, including the Gulf: GCC chief

Al-Arabia – The security of the region is an indivisible one and therefore any further discussion on the Iran nuclear deal must include the opinion of all countries including the Gulf countries, the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council told Al Arabiya during a special interview.

“We clearly expressed with no ambiguity regarding the Iranian nuclear file and the agreement that was concluded between the permanent members plus one on three basic principles: The first is the security of the region is an indivisible whole. Therefore, there should be no agreement concerned with the security of the region without taking into account the opinion of all countries, and we are the main leaders in this,” GCC chief Nayef al-Hajraf told Al Arabiya’s “The Other Dimension” program.

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Al-Hajraf said the GCC had legitimate apprehensions regarding the Iran nuclear deal signed in 2015 and said there were “shortcoming from the first day.”

“Especially the grace period that was granted to the Iranians or the controversial sunset clause controversy found in the agreement. We need real political will. It must be expressed by all parties, whether from within the region or the countries sponsoring this agreement, so that there is a clear follow-up mechanism,” he added.

Al-Hajraf’s comments regarding the deal come a day after French President Emmanuel Macron told Al Arabiya that any new negotiations on world powers’ 2015 nuclear deal with Iran would be very “strict” and should include Saudi Arabia.

Iran responded on Saturday by rejecting any new negotiations or changes to the participants in Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.

Asked whether the GCC would find an ally in the current US administration of Joe Biden compared to the past four years under Donald Trump, al-Hajraf said the working relationship was strategic regardless of which political party was holding power in Washington.

“It is a strategic relationship and it is not affected by whoever occupies the Oval Office, whether Republican or Democratic, because the GCC countries as a system and as an entity have dealt with all American administrations as an institutional work and based on common interests,” he said.

The Secretary General of the GCC also touched upon other topics, chief among them was the recent AlUla Declaration signed in Saudi Arabia that saw a return of Qatar to the fold after more than three years of diplomatic and trade boycott by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates.

“Yes, what happened happened, and therefore the impact took place. We must not dwell too much on the why, when and who. Rather, we must put what happened before our eyes in order to fully understand this framework and to ensure that there is no recurrence, but the most important thing is that we move forward,” al-Hajraf told Al Arabiya’s Muntaha al-Ramahi.

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