Saudis worried Iran nuclear issue headed to 'confrontation'
NEW YORK, Sept 26 (AFP) Sep 27, 2007
Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said here Wednesday that Iran's standoff with Western powers over its nuclear program is heading toward a "confrontation."
Saudi Prince Saud al-Faisal met in New York with other Gulf foreign ministers as well as the chief diplomats of Jordan and Egypt, and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
"We talked certainly about Iran with the Secretary Rice," Prince Saud told reporters.
"Definitely what we are seeing is a confrontation in the making," the prince said.
"And we have pressed in our mutual discussions with the Iranians the question on them: 'Why such a precipitous move toward confrontation, what is your intent in this?' And their answer was that they are not looking for confrontation or building nuclear weapons."
He said Saudi Arabia is "very concerned" about Iran's nuclear program, which Western powers charge is a cover for building an atomic bomb. Tehran rejects the charge, saying it only seeks to produce energy.
Prince Saud said Tehran must prove its program is peaceful.
"We hope that, if anything, that this will be settled through negotiations," he said. "The region is volatile and a conflict in that region is the most dangerous thing to conceive and therefore we hope it can be solved diplomatically."All rights reserved. © 2005 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.