While the Saudis are not necessarily the best example of human rights in the Middle East, they’ve certainly been better than Iran’s mullahs. While Saudi Arabia had over 300 executions between 2010 and 2013, Iran has already killed over 500 people publicly since January of this year. One would hope that we would see the U.S. strengthening ties with the Gulf States, as Iran’s former foil Iraq has in fact become Iran’s newest province.
Let’s hope for some better balancing in the Middle East, or we’ll see a Mullah renaissance that no one wants.
By Jamie Crawford
Secretary of State John Kerry says relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia are strong despite reports the Saudis are looking to de-emphasize its alliance with Washington.
“I have great confidence that the United States and Saudi Arabia will continue to be the close and important friends and allies that we have been,” Kerry told reporters on Tuesday in London on the sidelines of a conference about the international response to the civil war in Syria.
Kerry was responding to questions based on a report from Reuters that quoted Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, telling European diplomats the kingdom would be making a “major shift” in relations with Washington over perceived inaction towards the carnage in Syria, and a possible rapprochement with Iran over its nuclear program.
The comments were noteworthy coming from Bandar, who served as the kingdom’s ambassador to Washington for…
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