Region will lose sleep over Iran deal -Saudi adviser

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) meets with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington June 29, 2010. REUTERS/Larry Downing

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) meets with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington June 29, 2010.            Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing

By Angus McDowall

Nov 24 (Reuters) – People in the Middle East will lose sleep over a nuclear deal between global powers and Iran, a Saudi foreign policy adviser said on Sunday, signalling the deep unease Sunni Muslim Gulf states have over Western rapprochement with their Shi’ite foe.

At the time the adviser spoke, Saudi Arabia had not officially responded to news of the deal under which Western countries will ease sanctions in return for curbs on Iran’s nuclear programme. Riyadh has frequently called for Washington to maintain a tough line with Tehran.

Abdullah al-Askar, chairman of the foreign affairs committee in Saudi Arabia’s appointed Shoura Council, a quasi-parliament that advises the government on policy, stressed that he had no knowledge of his government’s official response but was personally worried.

“I am afraid Iran will give up something on [its nuclear programme] to get something else from the big powers in terms of regional politics. And I’m worrying about giving Iran more space or a freer hand in the region,” he said.

“The government of Iran, month after month, has proven that it has an ugly agenda in the region, and in this regard no one in the region will sleep and assume things are going smoothly,” Askar said.

In the hours before Sunday’s deal was sealed, Gulf Arab leaders, including Saudi King Abdullah and the rulers of Qatar and Kuwait, met late on Saturday night to discuss “issues of interest to the three nations”.

The Gulf Arab rulers, all Sunni Muslims, are enemies of Shi’ite Iran, which backs Syria‘s President Bashar al-Assad in a civil war in which they back the rebels. They have accused Tehran of fomenting unrest in a range of countries including Yemen, Bahrain, Lebanon and Iraq. Iran denies such meddling.


“The people of the region know Iranian policies and Iranian ambitions. And they know that Iran will interfere in the politics of many countries in the region,” Askar added.

In recent months Saudi Arabia has grown increasingly anxious about Washington’s apparent willingness to deal with Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani and complained about President Barack Obama’s reluctance to take tougher action in Syria’s civil war.

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4 thoughts on “Region will lose sleep over Iran deal -Saudi adviser

  1. I see easing sanctions on Iran will actually help Iran get the necessary pieces to finish their Nuclear program and strengthen their Military. Look at Nazi Germany, after WWI Germany had many sanctions on their nation and we not allowed to have a strong military. Then Hitler took over and made deals similar as Iran did and we all know what happened next.

  2. SAUDOMY BARBIA leaders and clerics are as radical and crazy as the ayatollahs of Iran due to pseudo-psycho cult of Islam profit Mudmauhd(pissbuh)…let them kill each other until they are sick of all the fighting insanity. Sadly, that what the bible predicts its not that I hate people just a sad reality. 😦

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