Report: Saudi Arabia wants US to press Iran
American sources tell Lebanese paper US President Barack Obama, Saudi King Abdullah clashed over effectiveness of economic sanctions. 'Riyadh believes there is no guarantee that the current policies will stop Tehran from moving forward with its nuclear program,' says Washington source
Despite what appeared to be a successful meeting between Saudi King Abdullah and US President Barack Obama on Tuesday, it seems there are still a number of disagreements between the two leaders.
While the two announced the "importance of moving forward in securing a Palestinian homeland", Lebanese paper an-Nahar on Wednesday reported there are still several issues on which the two do not see eye-to-eye, including sanctions on Iran, the situation in Iraq, and the peace process.
A source in Washington told the paper that, "Saudi Arabia is not convinced that the economic sanctions on Iran will bear fruits, and it believes the alternative measures available to the Obama administration must be examined, since there is no guarantee that the current policies will stop Tehran from moving forward with its nuclear program."
Obama (R) and King Abdullah on Tuesday (Photo: AP)
Regarding the situation in Iraq, the source said, "A disagreement broke out between the two around the fact that Saudi Arabia is skeptical about the path taken by the prime minister in Baghdad, Nouri al-Maliki, which leans closer to Iran."
According to the report, Abdullah and Obama did not reach an agreement, and the Americans are urging Saudi Arabia to play a diplomatic role in preventing Iran from laying roots in Iraq.
Despite the differences of opinion, the report said Washington and Riyadh were in talks towards the singing of an extensive weapons deal, in which the Saudis are to purchase two squadrons of F-15 fighter jets, as well as maintenance and development services for similar products acquired in the past, at the cost of some $20 billion.