US President-elect Donald Trump should not scrap a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers but should take the nation to task for its "destabilizing activities" in the Middle East, said a former senior Saudi official.
Gulf powers watched with alarm as US President Barack Obama forged a deal with its top regional foe over Iran's nuclear program last year and warned it would embolden Tehran's pursuit of regional hegemony in part through support for proxy groups fueling regional conflicts.
Trump, who triumphed in the US election this week, has said he would dismantle the nuclear deal agreed last year, although he has made other contradictory statements on the accord. Iran denies ever having considered developing atomic weapons.
"I don't think he should scrap it. It's been worked on for many years and the general consensus in the world, not just the United States, is that it has achieved an objective, which is a 15-year hiatus in the program that Iran embarked on to develop nuclear weapons," Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi intelligence chief and ex-ambassador to Washington and London said on Thursday.
"To scrap that willy-nilly as it were will have ramifications, and I don't know if something else can be put in its place to guarantee that Iran will not go that route if the agreement is scrapped," he said at a think-tank event in Washington.
Prince Turki said he would like to see if the deal could become a "stepping stone" to a more permanent program "to prevent proliferation through the establishment of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East."