Saudi FM, US envoy discuss Iranian support to ‘terrorist militias’

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud and US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley met in Riyadh on Wednesday to discuss the Iranian nuclear talks, the state news agency SPA said.

Prince Faisal and Malley, who earlier visited Qatar on a regional tour to coordinate with Gulf allies, also discussed strengthening “joint action to stop Iranian support for terrorist militias” threatening regional security, SPA added.

Iran’s proxy militias in the region include the Houthis in Yemen as well as armed contingents in Lebanon, Iraq and Syria.

Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raisi has not yet agreed to resume indirect talks with the United States on returning to the deal, under which Iran curbed its nuclear programme in return for economic sanctions relief.

Malley has said Washington is ready to consider “all options” if Iran is unwilling to return to the 2015 agreement, while Prince Faisal last week warned of the “dangerous” acceleration of Iran’s nuclear activities.

Riyadh, which has criticised Iran’s proxy wars in the region, has been targeted by Yemen’s Houthi militias with drones and missiles.

Riyadh has criticised the 2015 pact as flawed for not addressing Tehran’s missile programme and network of regional proxies, a key concern for some Gulf states.

US President Joe Biden’s administration wants to negotiate a return to compliance with the deal after his predecessor, Donald Trump, withdrew from the agreement in 2018 and re-imposed sanctions, as a result of which Iran resumed the building its stockpile of enriched uranium.

Source: The Arab Weekly

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