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Saudi Condemns Iran 'Deception' Over Nuclear Program

Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz. File photo
Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz. File photo
Riyadh, Nov 12, 2019 (AFP) -

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.

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 Fordow plant south of Tehran.

On Monday, Britain, France, Germany and the European Union said Iran's decision to restart activities at Fordow 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.