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Obama Sells Saudi King on Iran Nuclear Deal During White House Visit

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman made his first visit to the US since ascending to the throne in January, and was reportedly satisfied with Obama’s assurances about the Iran deal.
September 5, 2015, 6:24pm
Photo by Olivier Douliery/EPA/Pool

Saudi Arabia is satisfied with assurances from US President Barack Obama about the Iran nuclear deal, and the country's leader believes the agreement will contribute to security and stability in the Middle East, a senior Saudi official said on Friday.

Saudi King Salman, on his first visit to the US since ascending to the throne in January, met with Obama at the White House on Friday.

Speaking after the meeting between Obama and Salman, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said the president had assured the Saudi king that the agreement prevents Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, includes inspections of military and suspected sites, and has a provision for the snapback of sanctions if Iran violates the agreement.

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Under those conditions, al-Jubeir said, Saudi Arabia supported the deal.

Related: Americans Are Divided — And Slightly Confused — By the Iran Nuclear Deal

"Now we have one less problem for the time being to deal with, with regards to Iran," al-Jubeir said. "We can now focus more intensely on the nefarious activities that Iran is engaged in the region."

Gulf Arab states had previously expressed their support for the Iran nuclear deal, but fear that the lifting of sanctions on Iran would enable it to pursue destabilizing policies in the Middle East.

Salman skipped a Gulf Arab summit at Camp David in May, a move widely seen as a diplomatic snub over Obama's Iran strategy, though both governments denied that interpretation.

Critics say the nuclear deal will empower Iran economically to increase its support of militant groups in the region.

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