Saudi Arabia Opposes U.S.-Iranian Dialogue

[New York Times] Helene Cooper - King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia told U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney two weeks ago in Riyadh that if the U.S. pulls its troops out of Iraq, the Saudis might provide financial backing to Iraqi Sunnis in any war against Iraq's Shiites. King Abdullah also expressed strong opposition to diplomatic talks between the U.S. and Iran. The Saudi warning reflects fears among America's Sunni Arab allies about Iran's rising influence in Iraq, coupled with Tehran's nuclear ambitions. The Saudis have argued strenuously against an American pullout from Iraq, citing fears that Iraq's minority Sunni Arab population would be massacred. The Bush administration is working on a way to form a coalition of Sunni Arab nations and a moderate Shiite government in Iraq, along with the U.S. and Europe, to stand against "Iran, Syria, and the terrorists," a senior administration official said Tuesday.

2006-12-13 01:00:00

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