EU foreign chief in Saudi for talks on Iran, Yemen

Riyadh: EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini held talks in Saudi Arabia today to explain the agreement she helped broker on Iran’s nuclear programme, and to push for an end to Yemen’s war.

Mogherini met with Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir in the latest visit by a top Western official aimed at easing Saudi concerns over the deal with its regional rival.

Tomorrow, she flies to the Islamic republic to discuss implementation of the July 14 Vienna agreement that seeks to curb any Iranian attempt to get an atomic bomb.

The European Union played a leading role in years of talks between Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States, Germany and Iran. US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter visited Saudi Arabia to discuss the deal last week.

Mogherini has hailed the agreement as a “sign of hope for the entire world”.

“She believes it’s a good deal and should be welcomed,” a European diplomatic source told AFP ahead of her Riyadh visit.

The accord requires Iran to curb its nuclear capabilities including the number of uranium centrifuges.

International monitors will supervise the process, and in exchange an embargo that has crippled Iran’s economy will be eased.

The deal would see Iran’s oil exports gradually resume and billions of dollars in frozen assets unblocked.

Last week, Jubeir said the agreement appeared to have effective safeguards, including an inspection mechanism as well as a provision to reinstate sanctions if world powers feel Iran has not met its commitments.

But he said Tehran’s support for regional “terrorism” remained a concern.