Arab League calls for 'revision' of Iran nuclear deal

Arab League calls for 'revision' of Iran nuclear deal
Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit called for the Iran nuclear deal to be revised, a day after Trump pulled the US out of the historic accord with Tehran.
3 min read
09 May, 2018
The chief of the Arab League echoed the words of US President Donald Trump [AFP]
The Arab League called on Wednesday for the Iran nuclear deal to be revised, echoing comments from President Donald Trump just a day after he pulled the United States out of the historic accord.

"It's necessary to revise the agreement," Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit said, expressing the "exasperation" of Arab nations in the face of the "destabilising politics" of Iran in the region.

His comments came after Trump defied the wishes of the other parties to the nuclear deal - France, the UK, Germany, Russia and China - by announcing the US would pull out of the accord and impose new sanctions on Tehran.

The agreement puts limits on Iran's nuclear programme in exchange of the lifting of international sanctions.

Iran's regional foe Saudi Arabia said it "supports and welcomes" Trump's decision, while Riyadh's Gulf allies the UAE and Bahrain also backed the US.

The regional rival of Iran and long-time US ally, Saudi Arabia, said it "supports and welcomes" Trump's decision.

"The kingdom supports and welcomes the steps announced by the US president towards withdrawing from the nuclear deal... and reinstating economic sanctions against Iran," the foreign ministry said.

Riyadh's allies in the Gulf - the UAE and Bahrain - also issued statements via their foreign ministries supporting Trump's decision.

At an Arab League summit last month hosted by Saudi Arabia, the country's King Salman said the regional body agreed to "renew our strong condemnation of Iran's terrorist acts in the Arab region and reject its blatant interference in the affairs of Arab countries".

'Committed to deal'

The comments came as the UN nuclear watchdog confirmed that Iran is implementing 'nuclear-related commitments' under its deal with world powers.

"Iran is subject to the world's most robust nuclear verification regime" and that the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was "a significant verification gain", Yukiya Amano, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reiterated in a statement.

"The IAEA is closely following developments," Amano said.

Despite US criticism that the accord does not go far enough in monitoring Iran's nuclear activities, the IAEA points to the fact that its inspectors have spent 3,000 man days per year on the ground in Iran.

The agency says it has attached some 2,000 tamper-proof seals to nuclear material and equipment, and that it has access to "hundreds of thousands of images captured daily by our sophisticated surveillance cameras", the number of which has almost doubled since 2013.

Amano previously said the JCPOA's loss would be "a great loss for nuclear verification and for multilateralism".

Egypt backed the Arab League's message and called for Arab participation "especially that which is related to the possibility of amending the nuclear deal with Iran".