Prior to the start of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and GCC special guest French President Francois Hollande discussed the importance of checks on Iran’s nuclear program.
"France and Saudi Arabia confirmed the necessity to reach a robust, lasting, verifiable, undisputed and binding deal with Iran," a joint statement between the two reported Monday.
"This agreement must not destabilise the security and stability of the region nor threaten the security and stability of Iran's neighbours," it continued.
France, the harshest of the six world powers negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran toward a deal, like Saudi Arabia is skeptical of Iran’s sincerity and desire to follow through with the deal being put forward in the talks. The country fears an outcome of further tension between Iran and the Gulf states.
Hollande is believed to have been invited by Salman to join the GCC summit to voice his stance, reassuring Gulf states that Iran will not be able to use the lifting of decades-long sanctions to fund proxy conflicts for groups under its support.
Gulf states fear that once the current international sanctions on the country are lifted groups supported by Iran will be empowered, such as the Houthis vying to take control of Yemen through armed clashes.
Backed by Iran, the Houthis took control of the Yemeni capital of Sanaa in September through an armed uprising, causing the Yemeni government to flee to Aden after the group attempted to disband the parliament in January.
Saudi Arabia is currently leading an international coalition consisting primarily of Arab League member states aimed at assisting the Yemeni government in combating the Houthi militias.