Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on Thursday warned Iran not to use the nuclear deal agreed upon this week to pursue "adventures" in the Middle East, Reuters reported.
Al-Jubeir urged Iran to use the deal to improve its own economic situation. The comments, the first public comments by a Saudi official about the Iranian deal, came during a photo opportunity with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
"We hope that … if the deal is implemented that the Iranians will use this deal in order to improve the economic situation in Iran and to improve the lot of its people … and not use it for adventures in the region," he said, according to Reuters.
"If Iran should try to cause mischief in the region, we're committed to confront it resolutely," added Al-Jubeir.
The Saudi minister did not explicitly endorse or reject the deal in his comments, noted Reuters. He stressed the need for inspections to verify Iran is complying and the "snapback" of sanctions if it is found to be cheating.
While Al-Jubeir did not specifically say his country rejects the deal, it is well-known that Saudi officials, as well as officials in other Arab countries, have been expressing their concern about the terms of a deal with Iran. The major Sunni states have warned that a final agreement could allow Shiite-dominated Iran, their regional rival, to keep the technologies needed to produce nuclear weapons.
Saudi Arabia’s opposition to the deal was so great that in May, when Saudi King Salman decided not to attend a summit at Camp David with U.S. President Barack Obama, the move was seen as a snub of Washington due to the talks with Iran.
Al-Jubeir’s predecessor, Prince Saud al-Faisal who passed away just last week, in March spoke out against the impending deal with Iran, warning the Islamic Republic should not be given “deals it does not deserve”.
On Tuesday, after the deal was announced, the official Saudi news agency quoted unnamed officials in the kingdom as calling on Iran not to abuse funds that will follow from the deal to cause turmoil in the region.