Kerry reassures 'solid relationship' with Saudi
Iran Press TV
Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:23AM
The United States has once again reassured Saudi Arabia of its "solid relationship" with the kingdom following the removal of sanctions on Iran.
'We have as solid a relationship, as clear an alliance, and as strong a friendship with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia as we've ever had,' US Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday before departing Riyadh for Laos after his 24-hour visit.
He repeated the same US allegations against Iran that it had been moving towards producing nuclear weapons before it reached a deal with the P5+1, saying Washington-Riyadh relationship will remain unchanged after the agreement.
'Nothing has changed because we worked to eliminate a nuclear weapon with a country in the region,' he added. 'We will continue to work in the region with our friends and our allies.'
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China – plus Germany (P5+1), finalized the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in Vienna, on July 14, 2015.
On January 16, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini announced that sanctions imposed on Tehran over its nuclear program had been lifted. The announcement was made after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed Iran's commitment to the JCPOA.
Under the JCPOA, limits are put on Iran's nuclear activities in exchange for the removal of sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
The sanctions relief has angered some Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia and Israel.
Kerry has long sought to reduce concerns among the US' Persian Gulf allies about the overtures to Iran.
Saudi Arabia and its Persian Gulf neighbors have felt that they no longer receive support from their traditional ally Washington in its illegal fight against Yemen.
However, Kerry on Saturday reiterated Washington's support for Saudi Arabia's ongoing war on Yemen, which has so far claimed the lives of at least 8,000 people.
He said the Saudi decision to launch airstrikes in Yemen was aimed at dealing with the Ansarullah movement and al-Qaeda operatives in the Arab country.
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