Iran’s missile program must be included in new nuclear deal talks: GCC ministers

June 16, 2021

Saudi Gazette report

Foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries called for the inclusion of Iran's destabilizing activities, its ballistic missile program, and its support for terrorism in the US-Iranian talks on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

In a joint statement following their meeting, The GCC foreign ministers pledged their support for international efforts to ensure that Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon.

They called on Iran to adhere to international laws, principles of being good neighbors, to respect the sovereignty of states, and avoid the use of violence.

The GCC foreign ministers condemned Iran's continued failure to fulfill its obligations to the International Atomic Energy Agency and its delay in providing the required information.

They called on Iran to stop uranium enrichment, which indicates that its program is not peaceful.

"We call on Iran to engage in negotiations seriously and not to endanger the region," the statement read.

Continuing hostile and terrorist operations by the Iran-backed Houthi militias targeting civil targets in Saudi Arabia constitutes a dangerous threat to regional and international security, the ministers stressed in the statement.

They also reaffirmed support for Saudi Arabia in the face of these operations and any measure it may take to deter these terrorist acts.

The ministers condemned the Houthi militia for not letting a UN team examine the abandoned Safer tanker in the Red Sea, which poses a threat to maritime navigation.

The GCC ministerial council condemned Iran's support for the terrorist groups, sectarian militias in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, and other countries, posing a threat to the region's security, destabilizing Arab countries and attacking the international coalition that is fighting Daesh (the so-called IS).

With regard to Iran's occupation of the UAE's islands, the council reaffirmed the unwavering stance, rejecting the occupation of Greater, Lesser Tunbs and Abu Moussa, emphasizing support for the UAE sovereignty on the islands, territorial water, and air space.

At the outset of the meeting, GCC Secretary-General Nayef Al-Hajraf, underlined the accomplishments made by the bloc over the past four decades, noting the desire to make more achievements in the future for sake of stronger security, stability, and prosperity.

The GCC ministers lauded the speech made by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman at the global conference on climate hosted by the United States in April.

They also praised Riyadh's launch of the "Geen Saudi Arabia" and the "Green Middle East" initiatives in March.

GCC ministers congratulated the United Arab Emirates on its election to the United Nations Security Council.

The foreign ministers commended the GCC health ministries and their staff for the great efforts in fighting the coronavirus, noting the necessity of expanding vaccination campaigns against the pandemic.

They applauded the G7 states' decision to secure more than one billion doses of the vaccines for developing countries, an approach that will speed up recoveries worldwide.

The ministers examined the process of inter-GCC economic integration and affirmed the continuation of the cooperation programs and all processes designed to enhance joint action.

They lauded the Inking of the accord for establishing the Gulf statistics center in Muscat.

The statement also said that "the position of the Gulf Cooperation Council is consistent on the Palestinian issue as it is the first Arab issue."

"We condemn the continued Israeli violations against the Palestinian people, which threaten security and stability in the region," the statement read while welcoming the ceasefire agreement in the Gaza Strip.

They also rejected any measure that affects the water rights of Egypt and Sudan and denounced the interference in the internal affairs of any Arab country.

On terrorism, the ministers affirmed the GCC's unwavering renunciation of the scourge and their commitment to the war on terrorism, as part of the international coalition, namely the war on Daesh and all other radical groups and drying up the origin of their financing.

The ministers condemned terrorist operations taking place in Afghanistan, targeting innocent civilians, civil installations, such as schools and worship places as well as hospitals, affirming solidarity with Afghanistan in the fight against terrorism and restoring security and stability on the country's territories.

June 16, 2021
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