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Iran Press TV

Iran decries US 'hypocrisy' over planned nuclear sale to Saudi Arabia

Iran Press TV

Wed Feb 20, 2019 02:10PM

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has denounced Washington's "hypocrisy" after reports said the administration of US President Donald Trump was seeking to advance the sale of nuclear power technology to Saudi Arabia.

"Day by day it becomes clearer to the world what was always clear to us: neither human rights nor a nuclear program have been the real concern of the US," Zarif wrote on his official Twitter page on Wednesday.

Zarif also pointed to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of Saudi agents in October, saying it further exposed the US double standards for human rights.

"First a dismembered journalist; now illicit sale of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia fully expose #USHypocrisy."

The Trump administration came under fire for acting with equivocation in the wake of Khashoggi's murder and after evidence showed the Riyadh government's role in his slaying.

Zarif's remarks came after a new report by a congressional committee revealed Tuesday that the Trump administration was trying to bypass the US Congress to transfer sensitive nuclear power technology to Saudi Arabia.

The House of Representatives' Oversight Committee, which compiled the report, said it was now "launching an investigation to determine whether the actions being pursued by the Trump Administration are in the national security interests of the United States or, rather, serve those who stand to gain financially as a result of this potential change in US foreign policy."

"The Trump Administration's interactions with Saudi Arabia have been shrouded in secrecy, raising significant questions about the nature of the relationship," the 24-page report said.

It also said that efforts inside the White House to "rush" the transfer of "highly sensitive US nuclear technology" to Saudi Arabia were "in potential violation of the Atomic Energy Act and without review by Congress as required by law."

The White House has not commented yet.

The report involved documents, emails and a number of concerns raised by former National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, White House attorneys and whistleblowers within the Trump administration.

Back in May, Trump withdrew Washington from a landmark nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers and announced reimposition of the sanctions against Tehran that had been lifted as part of the agreement.

The US has also been pressuring the European signatories to the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, to pull out of the JCPOA.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has, however, said that the bloc is determined to preserve the "full implementation" of the deal, saying it was vital to European security and an effective guarantor of peace.

A few days after the US left the JCPOA, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told CBS that the kingdom would make nuclear weapons if Iran does so.

Iran has always said that it has no intention of developing nuclear arms and the peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program has repeatedly been confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

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