The White House hosted King Salman bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia on Friday and Iran was expectedly at the top of agenda.
Saudi Arabia, and other Sunni Gulf countries, have been very skeptical and cautious regarding the recent deal with Iran, as those countries have long been hostile toward and suspicious of Iran. Saudi suspicions of Tehran’s nuclear program reached to such levels that the Saudi Kingdom threatened to purchase nuclear weapons from Pakistan if Tehran ever manages to build a nuclear bomb.
Friday’s meeting between President Barrack Obama and Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, however, seems to have reassured Saudi Arabia that the new nuclear deal with Iran will still prevent Tehran from building up a nuclear arsenal.
As the Saudi Gazette reported, the meeting between the two leaders was so successful that foreign minister of Saudi Arabia, Adel al-Jubeir, actually announced that the Saudi Kingdom was now satisfied with Obama’s reassurances.
“Now we have one less problem for the time being to deal with, with regards to Iran.”
According to the BBC, the Saudi foreign minister spoke about how President Obama elaborated and explained the various aspects of the nuclear agreement, and how the deal “prevents Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, has a robust and unprecedented inspections regime that includes inspections of all sites … and that has provision for snap back of sanctions.”
Saudi Arabia welcomes Iran nuclear deal after Obama meeting: foreign minister http://t.co/gTGBXlBveL— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) September 4, 2015
That left Saudi Arabia, along with neighboring Sunni Gulf countries, other, and possibly equally concerning, issues to deal with.
“We can now focus more intensely on the nefarious activities that Iran is engaged in the region,” Reuters quoted the Saudi foreign minister as saying.
Saudi Arabia has long been wary of what it perceives as Iranian meddling in internal affairs of other Middle Eastern culture in an effort to create puppet states in countries, including Iraq, Yemen, and Syria, and supporting and funding a popular unrest in Bahrain.
Reuters also reported that Saudi Arabia’s defense minister Mohammed bin Salman met with U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and discussed defense issues concerning the Gulf nations.
According to Reuters, the U.S. plans on boosting the defense capabilities of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations by “helping Gulf states integrate ballistic missile defense systems and beef up cyber and maritime security.”
Alarabiya reported that as the talks took place, Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen killed 10 Saudi soldiers near the border between Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
[Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images]