Jordan calls for Arabs to take part in Iran nuclear talks
AMMAN – Jordan’s foreign minister called Wednesday for Arab states to be represented in future dialogue on the Iranian nuclear programme, days after Tehran moved to step up its uranium enrichment.
Calling for “an end to tensions with Iran,” Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said Jordan “supports the launching of a dialogue with Iran on the nuclear issue and (believes) that states in the region must be represented in any future dialogue on the subject.”
He was speaking during a joint news conference with his German and Swedish counterparts at a meeting of the Stockholm Initiative for Nuclear Disarmament.
Iran’s nuclear programme has been the subject of tensions for over a decade, but in 2015 the Islamic Republic signed a deal with world powers that imposed drastic limits on its nuclear programme in exchange for an easing of international sanctions.
Iran insists its nuclear activities are for peaceful purposes.
US President Donald Trump in 2018 unilaterally withdrew Washington from the landmark deal, but President-elect Joe Biden has signalled his intention to bring the US back to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), although with new conditions.
Iran resumed enriching uranium this week to 20%, well in excess of the threshold set out in the deal, in its most recent walk back on commitments since the US withdrawal.
Safadi said that the Stockholm talks had “stressed the need to make the Middle East a region free of weapons of mass destruction and the importance of reaching a resolution of tensions with Iran on the issue of nuclear weapons.”
He added that Iran’s ballistic missile programme must be addressed, as well as the Islamic Republic’s “interference in Arab affairs,” which he said “must stop.”
Iran has been accused of extending its influence in the Middle East, which has contributed to rifts between Arab states and played a role in recent rapprochements between Iranian arch-foe Israel and Gulf countries.
“The entire Arab world wants good neighbourly relations with Iran,” Safadi said.
“To achieve this, we must hold a sincere, concrete and transparent dialogue on all the causes of tension.”
The Stockholm Initiative talks also included foreign ministers from several other countries.
Safadi said they had adopted a roadmap ahead of a review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty later this year.