The State Department brushed off a warning from the former Saudi ambassador to Washington that the P5+1 deal being negotiated with Iran will lead to rash of uranium enrichment in the Middle East.
Prince Turki al-Faisal, who was also head of Saudi intelligence services before the 9/11 attacks, told BBC that “whatever comes out of these talks, we will want the same.”
“So if Iran has the ability to enrich uranium to whatever level, it’s not just Saudi Arabia that’s going to ask for that,” the prince said. “The whole world will be an open door to go that route without any inhibition, and that’s my main objection to this P5+1 process.”
On CNN last night, State Department press secretary Jen Psaki was asked about the remarks.
“Well, one, I don’t believe Prince Turki has a role in the Saudi government right now,” she said of the Saudi royal.
“But, two, this is a process that is ongoing. Every component of the deal will be vitally important, we will be briefing our partners on,” Psaki continued. “I think the third piece here is that we’re not opposed to peaceful nuclear power, a peaceful program. That’s something many countries aspire to. If they’re abiding by the NPT, which Iran would be a part of, then certainly, they would be meeting requirements. It’s about preventing them from taking this into a detrimental direction.”
Prince Turki also noted that “it seems that Iran is expanding its occupation of Iraq and that is unacceptable.”
“Iran is already a disruptive player in various scenes in the Arab world, whether it’s Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Palestine, or Bahrain,” he said.
“So ending fear of developing weapons of mass destruction is not going to be the end of the troubles we’re having with Iran.”
The Obama administration has repeatedly stressed that it wants a nuclear deal with Iran first and then will worry about its terrorist and hegemonic activities.