Key PointsSaudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud tells CNBC that President Donald Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign set the groundwork for a new agreement with Iran.Al-Saud says Saudi Arabia should be a "partner" to the United States in any discussions with Iran moving forward.
Saudi Arabia holds a virtual leaders meeting this weekend as part of their G-20 presidency.Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal Bin Farhan al-Saud speaks to the media on February 21, 2020 in Berlin, Germany.Thomas Trutschel | Photothek | Getty ImagesSaudi Arabia says it should be a part of any potential negotiations between the incoming U.S. administration and Iran on a new nuclear deal, Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud told CNBC.
Saudi Arabia seeks to partner with the U.S. administration on a potential new agreement, which would not only limit Iran's nuclear activities but also seek to address its "regional malign activity," Al-Saud told CNBC's Hadley Gamble on Saturday.
Such an accord could be labeled the "JCPOA++," he added. The JCPOA, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, is a 2015 agreement between Iran and world powers which limited the country's nuclear ambitions in exchange for the lifting of sanctions. The original agreement was signed by the five permanent members of the United Nations' Security Council — China, France, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S., plus Germany.
President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the JCPOA in 2018, calling it the "worst deal in history." Since then, his administration has placed crushing sanctions on Iran, dubbed the "maximum pressure campaign."These sanctions have caused Iran's rial to depreciate by one-fifth of its former value against the dollar, and the country's gross domestic product (GDP) has shrunk by around 6% for three consecutive years.
Other signatories to the 2015 accord have stood by the agreement, but there is talk that a renegotiated pact could be on the cards, with more pressure on Iran over missile programs and other regional issues. A new agreement has been touted as a "JCPOA+" — that is, like the original deal but with more conditions attached.
Such an agreement could go even further, Al-Saud believes, saying that a "JCPOA++" deal could also seek to address Iran's reported "arming of militias, whether it's the Houthis in Yemen, or certain groups in Iraq or in Syria, or Lebanon, and even beyond."
"And, of course, its ballistic missile programs and other arms programs, which (it) continues to use to spread havoc around the region," Al-Saud added.CNBC has contacted Iranian officials for a response to Al Saud's comment and is yet to receive a reply.
Saudi's foreign minister emphasized the long-standing partnership his country has with the United States and that he would work with any administration. Al-Saud reiterated, however, that should the incoming president wish to re-engage with Iran, Saudi Arabia should be a "partner in those discussions."
"The issue with Iran is the fact that it continues to believe in imposing its will in the region on exporting its revolution to its neighbors and beyond, and we need to address that," he claimed, speaking to CNBC from NEOM, a megaproject and new planned city on Saudi Arabia's northwest Red Sea coast. Saudi Arabia is hosting world leaders, virtually, at the Group of 20 (G-20) summit in Riyadh this weekend.
Regional rivalriesNeighbors Saudi Arabia and Iran are locked in a decades-old struggle for regional dominance. Saudi Arabia is a majority Sunni country while Iran is home to a Shia Muslim majority.Trump leaned into Gulf allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates during his tenure, while his predecessor, Barack Obama, sought to normalize relations with Iran and create the nuclear deal. Trump's exit from the JCPOA was applauded by America's allies in the Gulf, and was widely seen as a shift in U.S. policy in the region.
The U.S.' attitude toward Iran could change with an incoming administration, however. President-elect Joe Biden hopes to re-engage with Iran once in the White House and rejoining the nuclear agreement is a top priority for his incoming administration. The Trump administration is set to sanction Iran further as his presidency comes to an end, which could make Biden's rapprochement with Iran more challenging.
Meanwhile, the new administration's relationship with Saudi Arabia could be harder to predict. Read more: CNBC »
What it feels like to get an mRNA coronavirus vaccine
As the United States inches closer to authorizing a Covid-19 many people may now let themselves start wondering what it will feel like to get it.
I haven't time to read this whole article, but at least now I know who stole Nana's tablecloth... Biden will be back to sleeping with the enemy. Perfect VP for that!! Clearly Wow after Osama you trust that. Don’t let that happen. The terrorists want to watch the other terrorists 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 That’s a wonderful plan.
Starfield 12-12-21 Bethesda Softworks Insha allah 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 They soold not be. Those two are like water and ijs. When I want to make a deal with you. I don’t do this together with you’re worse enemy. Would the JCPOA accept SaudiHELLabia's participation?! Did i hear that Israel 🇮🇱 is Burning after hearing this News. 😂😂😂
Now THIS is hilarious. Fuck having a barbaric country such as Saudi Arabia on anything horrible ⚠️WHY and HOW the top scientists were incited to prepare for the LANCET letter on denying Lab-origin of COVID-19 virus in a hurry? What kind of role CCP played behind it until now? Briefly, I explained the information behind two emails I mentioned 👇