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Saturday, October 7, 2017

Saudi King asks Putin to help contain Iranian threat, accepts Russian gains in Syria

President Donald Trump’s best Middle East friend and ally, Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, arrived in Moscow Thursday Oct. 5 for a three-day state visit, a week before the President unveils his new Iran policy.


This policy, to be announced on Oct. 12 will, according to DEBKAfile’s sources,  introduce new sanctions against Iran’s hard-line Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), while refraining from taking the United States out of the nuclear pact (JCPOA).


He is expected to extend this pact on Oct. 15 for another 90 days, by certifying that Iran is in compliance with the terms of the accord it signed with six world powers in 2015.


In his comments on Wednesday, Oct. 4, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson indicated that the pact was not the most important aspect of the administration’s Iran policy, when he said: “The JCPOA represents only a small part of the issues we have to address with Iran.”


The 82-year old Saudi king, and his powerful son, Crown Prince Muhammed Bin Salman, are now persuaded that even in the capacity of President Trump’s senior ally in the Sunni Arab camp he created during his Riyadh visit last April, Riyadh is not precluded from developing relations with the most powerful player in the region, Vladimir Putin.


As far as Riyadh is concerned, Iran’s nuclear program is not much of a problem – the Saudis have long accepted its inevitability. They are far more concerned by the failure of Trump’s Iran policies, new or old, to stop Syria and Iraq from running downhill into the wrong hands.


As far as Riyadh is concerned, Iran’s nuclear program is not much of a problem – the Saudis have long accepted its inevitability. They are far more concerned by the failure of Trump’s Iran policies, new or old, to stop Syria and Iraq from running downhill into the wrong hands.


They see Iran, far from pulling out of the two war-torn countries, deepening its military grip. The Saudis feel they are left out in the cold by proactive Russian-Iranian-Hizballah military cooperation in Syria and control of the Syrian-Iraqi border. This military pact has been strengthened by Turkey, to form a relationship that was celebrated Wednesday by President Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Tehran, accompanied by Turkish Chief of Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar. READ MORE