Saudis Brace for "Nightmare" of U.S.-Iran Rapprochement

(Reuters) Angus McDowall - Engaged in what they see as a life-and-death struggle for the future of the Middle East with arch-rival Iran, Saudi rulers are furious that the UN has taken no action over Syria, where they and Tehran back opposing sides. The U.S.-Saudi alliance is not about to break, but Riyadh is willing to defy Washington in defense of its regional interests. The real focus of Saudi anger is the Shi'ite Muslim clerics who have preached Islamic revolution since coming to power in Tehran, and whose hands Riyadh sees orchestrating political foes in half a dozen Arab countries. Saudi princes were horrified to see Washington reaching out to Hassan Rouhani, the new Iranian president. "The Saudis' worst nightmare would be the administration striking a grand bargain with Iran," said former U.S. ambassador to Riyadh Robert Jordan. In a rare appearance, King Abdullah, who is about 90, was shown on state television on Monday meeting Egypt's visiting military-backed interim head of state, Adly Mansour. His words, carried prominently in Saudi media on Tuesday, were a forceful condemnation of the "terrorism, delusion and sedition" of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood. U.S. aid to Egypt may be cut, but since July, Saudi Arabia has given Egypt $5 billion, three times as much as Washington's annual contribution.

2013-10-11 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive