– Iran nuclear deal: Saudi Arabia warns it will strike out on its own (Telegraph, Nov 25, 2013):
Saudi Arabia claims they were kept in the dark by Western allies over Iran nuclear deal and says it will strike out on its own
A senior advisor to the Saudi royal family has accused its Western allies of deceiving the oil rich kingdom in striking the nuclear accord with Iran and said Riyadh would follow an independent foreign policy.
Nawaf Obaid told a think tank meeting in London that Saudi Arabia was determined to pursue its own foreign and policy goals. Having in the past been reactive to events, the leading Sunni Muslim nation was determined to be pro-active in future.
Mr Obaid said that while Saudi Arabia knew that the US was talking directly to Iran through a channel in the Gulf state of Oman, Washington had not directly briefed its ally.
“We were lied to, things were hidden from us,” he said. “The problem is not with the deal struck in Geneva but how it was done.”
In a statement the Saudi government gave a cautious welcome to the Geneva nuclear deal. It said “good intentions” could lead to a comprehensive agreement on Tehran’s atomic programme. “This agreement could be a first step towards a comprehensive solution for Iran’s nuclear programme, if there are good intentions,” the Saudi government said
But it warned that a comprehensive solution should lead to the “removal of all weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear, from the Middle East and the Gulf”.
A fellow of Harvard University’s Belfer Centre and adviser to Prince Mohammad, the Saudi ambassador to London, Mr Obaid said Saudi Arabia would continue to resist Iranian involvement in the Syrian civil war. In particular he pointed to Iranian Revolutionary Guards involvement in battles in Syria on behalf of the regime.
“[Saudi Arabia] will be there to stop them wherever they are in Arab countries,” he said. “We cannot accept Revolutionary Guards running round Homs.”
Saudi Arabia’s fury at the diplomatic detente with Iran is commonly held with Israel. While both countries are in the same posion Saudi Arabia disavows any suggestion of an open alliance. Until the Palestinians have a state, Saudi Arabia will not work with Israel.
Saudi Arabia is increasingly at odds with Washington over Syria. It rejected a seat on the UN Security Council in protest at the body’s failure to “save” Syria.
Qatar is the latest Gulf Arab state to welcome the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, calling it a step toward greater stability in the region.
Saudi Arabia, has previously expressed unease about US overtures to Iran. The dialogue helped pushed along efforts by Washington and others to strike a deal with Iran seeking to ease Western concerns that Tehran could move toward nuclear weapons.
Qatar’s Foreign Ministry said the deal is an “important step toward safeguarding peace and stability in the region”.
Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have issued similar statements.
– Saudi Arabia seeking to obtain atomic bomb: Report (PressTV, Nov 25, 2013):
Saudi Arabia is reportedly trying to obtain atomic bombs as Iran and the west reach a deal over Tehran’s nuclear energy program.
Abdullah al-Askar, the chairman of the foreign affairs committee in Saudi Arabia’s appointed Shoura Council, said he was worried after Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council — the United States, China, Russia, France and Britain — plus Germany sealed the deal, Reuters reported on Sunday.
“I am afraid Iran will give up something on 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.
Askar said that if the deal did not succeed in preventing Iran from what he claimed as building a bomb, Saudi Arabia and other countries would seek one, too.
Earlier in November, citing NATO sources, British media reports said that Saudi Arabia has invested in Pakistan’s nuclear weapons projects and believes it could obtain atomic bombs at will.
The reports said nuclear weapons made in Pakistan on behalf of Saudi Arabia are now sitting ready for delivery.
According to the reports, Riyadh has had the missile technology to deliver warheads since the late 1980s.
The British media reports also quoted former Israeli military intelligence chief, Amos Yadlin, as saying that the Saudis have already paid for the bomb.
“They will go to Pakistan and bring what they need to bring,” he said at a conference in Sweden in October.
On November 24, Iran and six major world powers sealed an interim six-month deal in Geneva after intense negotiations to pave the way for a full resolution of the dispute on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program.