Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Saudi Arabia Says It Will Build Nuclear Bomb if Iran Does

Judith Alexander | 10 May, 2018, 14:25

Iranian officials warned the United States against the move, saying the deal won't work without it, despite European Union efforts. Oil prices have surged as the output cut agreement by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers, including Russian Federation, has held.

"Following the USA decision to withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran, Saudi Arabia is committed to supporting the stability of oil markets for the benefit of producers and consumers and the sustainability of the global economic growth", the official said.

Riyadh and Tel Aviv have been working covertly to normalize ties and form an alliance against Iran based on their opposition to the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and the Islamic Republic's growing regional influence.

According to the Treasury factsheet, the US will resume efforts to reduce Iran's crude oil sales, with sanctions to be re-imposed following a 180-day wind-down period.

In an anticipated decision, Trump withdrew from the deal on Tuesday, having previously said that Iran was in violation of the "spirit" of the worldwide agreement.

While Gulf petro-states stand to benefit from a rise in prices, the USA move could mean new fissures in the region.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shakes hands with his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir during a news conference, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on April 29. A decade ago, Iran' and Saudi Arabia's neighbor, the United Arab Emirates, pledged not to engage in any enrichment or reprocessing activities whether the materials and facilities were supplied by the United States or others.

Such a loss would boost oil prices by about $6.20 per barrel, Goldman said.

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Washington's allies may find formulas to avoid sanctions exposure.

The pact is seen widely seen by western experts and leaders as the best way to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capabilities.

This source had also said the impact of USA sanctions on Iranian supplies needed to be assessed first and Saudi Arabia did not expect any physical impact on the market until the third or fourth quarters.

In theory, US sanctions on Iran's oil industry will not be re-imposed for six months to give customers, traders and banks time to wind down their relationships in an orderly fashion.

Current OPEC and non-OPEC production levels were specified for a world over-supplied with crude.

"We have managed to put together this new alliance between OPEC and non-OPEC".

But the USA sanctions on Iran, assuming they are effective, mark the end of the current output agreement.

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