OPEC Source: Saudis Can Boost Oil Output After US Quits Iran Deal

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The Trump administration kept the door open to negotiating another deal with allies, but it is far from clear whether the Europeans would pursue that option or be able to convince Iran to accept it.

Saudi Arabia is now pursuing a nuclear program for what it claims to be energy purposes.

"People should not take it for granted that Saudi Arabia will produce more oil single-handedly". Saudi Arabia has resisted making a similar unconditional pledge.

Energy-rich Saudi Arabia, a fierce regional foe of Iran's, is already seeking U.S. help in starting a nuclear program of its own, giving rise to concerns that it might be trying to compete with Iran's nuclear program and create its own nuclear weapons program.

To secure an agreement with the United States that will pass Congress, the Saudis may agree on a moratorium on enrichment and reprocessing. The two countries have long had tense relations - one of them Sunni (Saudi Arabia) and the other Shiite (Iran), they have lead proxy wars, backing opposing sides in Iraq and Syria.

Saudi Arabia and its close allies Abu Dhabi and Kuwait hold nearly all the spare capacity that could respond quickly to a reduction in Iranian exports.

On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters the United States is ready to announce an additional set of sanctions against Iran as early as next week in response to its alleged development of nuclear weapons. "There's an American withdrawal from the deal but the deal is still there", French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.

Trump's statement on why he was pulling out of the worldwide nuclear agreement with Iran was expressed in terms that made it sound like Trump was determined to go to war, Pierce observed.

Riyadh stressed that it backs Trump's future actions on Iran, reiterating its accusations against Tehran of destabilizing the region and supporting terroris. The original agreement had lifted sanctions in exchange for Tehran limiting its nuclear program. But there is little practical reason that Saudi Arabia can not postpone its bid decision and plenty of political and diplomatic reasons for it do so.

The "threat" references the occasional missile attack from Yemen, a country that Saudi Arabia has blockaded and bombed into a situation of dire instability and poverty for over three years.

Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told CBS News in March, "Saudi Arabia does not want to acquire any nuclear bomb, but without a doubt, if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible". "The consequences could be severe", said Joost Hiltermann, program director, Middle East and North Africa at the International Crisis Group.

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