Saudi Arabia condemns Iran’s deception over nuclear program
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Saudi Arabia condemns Iran’s deception over nuclear program

Kingdom berates Tehran after IAEA says uranium traces found at undeclared site, confirms enrichment at Fordo

Saudi Arabia's King Salman attends the official welcome ceremony for Russian President Vladimir Putin in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia,, October 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)
Saudi Arabia's King Salman attends the official welcome ceremony for Russian President Vladimir Putin in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia,, October 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — The Saudi cabinet on Tuesday condemned what it called its rival Iran’s “deception” over its nuclear program, after Tehran’s decision to re-start atomic activities at one of its key sites.

A cabinet session chaired by King Salman expressed its “denunciation of Iran’s continued deception and delays in providing the required information on its nuclear program to the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency),” according to the official Saudi Press Agency.

The IAEA, the UN’s nuclear watchdog, said in a report Monday that uranium particles were detected at an undeclared site in Iran.

The report also confirmed that Iran has ramped up uranium enrichment, in breach of a landmark 2015 deal with international powers.

European powers have been trying to salvage the deal since the US unilaterally withdrew from it in May last year and began reimposing sanctions.

President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a public gathering in the city of Rafsanjan in Iran’s southwest Kerman province, November 11, 2019. (Office of the Iranian Presidency via AP)

A year after the US pullout from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran began reducing its commitments to the deal hoping to win concessions from those still party to the accord.

Iran’s latest measure came last week, when engineers began feeding uranium hexafluoride gas into previously mothballed enrichment centrifuges at the underground Fordo plant south of Tehran.

On Monday, Britain, France, Germany and the European Union said Iran’s decision to restart activities at Fordo was “inconsistent” with the 2015 nuclear deal.

Iran, in turn, accused the European nations of hypocrisy on Tuesday for criticizing Tehran while failing to fulfill their commitments of relief from US sanctions.

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