Interests of Saudi Arabia and Iran Collide, with the U.S. in the Middle

(New York Times) Helene Cooper and Mark Landler - Relations between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have chilled as Saudi officials ignored American requests not to send troops into Bahrain to help crush Shiite-led protests there. A tense telephone call between President Obama and King Abdullah on Wednesday, Arab officials said, failed to ease the tensions. "King Abdullah has been clear that Saudi Arabia will never allow Shia rule in Bahrain - never," an Arab official said. He said King Abdullah's willingness to listen to the Obama administration had "evaporated" since Egyptian President Mubarak was forced from office. The Saudi position is rooted in the royal family's belief that a Shiite uprising next door in Bahrain could spread and embolden Saudi Arabia's own minority Shiite population and increase Iranian influence in the kingdom. American officials want Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to allow political reforms that could lead to more representation for Shiites under Sunni rule.

2011-03-18 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive