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International Relations Diplomacy

Spilling the Beans, Riyadh Style

Obama meeting with senior Saudi Ministers. Image: Tribes of the World/Flickr

This article was originally published on openDemocracy on 19 May 2015. It is also available here.

Saudi Arabia and other oil rich Gulf countries don’t want to live in the shadow of an Iranian nuclear bomb. Yet when the US embarks on an agreement to prevent this very possibility, they fear it might lead to a grand bargain that gives Iran carte blanche for expansionism in the Middle East.

Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist close to the Saudi ruling family, is already speaking of the “inter-Muslim struggle of the century” and Prince Turki al Faisal, former chief of Saudi intelligence and erstwhile ambassador of his country to Washington, is travelling the conference circuit warning that Saudi Arabia will strive to get a nuclear device should Iran do the same.