President Donald Trump and Saudi King Salman want to “rigorously” enforce the Iran nuclear deal, the White House said Sunday, despite the US leader’s long opposition to the agreement.
The pair, in a phone conversation, also spoke of the need to address Iran’s “destabilizing regional activities,” fight the spread of “radical Islamic terrorism” and establish safe zones in war-ravaged Syria and Yemen, the White House statement read.
No further details were provided about those plans.
Trump opposed the nuclear agreement signed by Israel’s arch-foe Iran and world powers, including the United States, in 2015 and has said he wants to undo it.
Some of his key nominees have adopted an openly anti-Iran stance, including secretary of state candidate Rex Tillerson, who is seeking a complete revision of the accord.
Israeli President Netanyahu said last month that there were many ways of “undoing” the Iran nuclear deal and that he would discuss that with Trump.
But before he left office, former president Barack Obama warned against rowing back the pact, emphasizing its “significant and concrete results.”
The deal places curbs on Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.
Tehran is a major foe of both Washington and Ryad. The Sunni majority Saudi kingdom is engaged in a power struggle with the Shiite country for dominance in the region.
Trump and King Salman “agreed on the importance of rigorously enforcing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran and of addressing Iran’s destabilizing regional activities,” the White House said.
Trump also spoke by telephone with the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, committing to “further strengthen cooperation on fighting radical Islamic terrorism,” the White House said.
It said the pair also discussed establishing safe zones for refugees displaced by conflict in the region, and the crown prince “agreed to support this initiative.”