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Saudi Arabia repeats claims about disputed Persian Gulf gas field

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Saudi Arabia says in a statement that along with Kuwait it has the right to develop Durra/Arash gas field.

Saudi Arabia has repeated its claims about a gas field located in the Persian Gulf that Iran considers a shared reserve.

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement on Wednesday saying that the kingdom has the right to jointly develop the Durra/Arash gas field without the participation of Iran.

The statement, carried by the official SPA news agency, said that the issue that should be settled with Iran is just the delimitation of the eastern boundary of a neutral zone shared between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and lying along the Iranian maritime border where the gas field is located.

Riyadh invited Iran to hold negotiations on the issue and claimed that Tehran had ignored a previous call for talks.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the State of Kuwait, as a single negotiating party, renew their invitation to the Islamic Republic of Iran to hold these negotiations,” read part of the statement.

Iran has described a deal signed on March 21 between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to develop Durra/Arash as illegal. Iranian authorities say the field is considered a shared reserve and no party is allowed to start development works on the field until Iran and Kuwait reach a final agreement on maritime border demarcation.

“Iran has declared that these resources should not be tapped before border demarcation,” said Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in his weekly press briefing on Monday.

Iranian Oil Ministry announced last month after the signing of the Saudi-Kuwaiti deal to develop Durra/Arash that it will soon install a drilling platform on the offshore reserve to start extracting natural gas from the field.

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