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Saudi Arabia urges Iran to engage in Vienna nuclear talks, calls for stricter deal

Saudi Arabia urged Iran to engage in the Vienna talks to revive the nuclear deal, calling for a stricter accord, the Kingdom’s Cabinet said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The Cabinet renewed the Kingdom’s call for Iran to engage in the ongoing negotiations, avoid escalation and not expose the region’s security and stability to more tension,” state news agency SPA reported.

The Kingdom’s Cabinet also stressed “the need for the international community to reach an agreement with stronger and longer elements, while implementing monitoring and control measures, to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and from developing the necessary capabilities for that.”

Diplomats from Britain, China, France, Germany, Iran and Russia have been meeting regularly since early this month to discuss reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, while US diplomats are participating indirectly in the talks from a nearby hotel.

The deal was thrown into question when the US withdrew in 2018 and sanctioned Iran, which in turn started ramping up its nuclear activities.

Under the 2015 deal, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear work in return for relief from US and other sanctions. The accord includes the option of a snapback of UN sanctions if Iran breaches the deal, requiring Tehran to suspend all nuclear enrichment-related activities, including research development.

Iran’s government said this week it began enriching uranium to 60 percent purity to show its technical capacity after a sabotage attack at a nuclear plant, and added the move is quickly reversible if the US lifts sanctions.

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