How Does Saudi Arabia View the Nuclear Deal?
After days of talks, on November 24, 2013, Iran reached a nuclear deal with the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China, and Russia. In exchange for easing of sanctions, Iran agreed to reduce some of its nuclear activities. This temporary deal will last six months, at which time all parties will make a more permanent arrangement.
World leaders have long been suspicious of Iran’s nuclear program. They claim that Iran’s nuclear program aims at developing nuclear weapons. Some governments view the deal as a step in the right direction, while some others deem it a “historic mistake.”
Among the countries that view this deal with suspicion is Saudi Arabia. Not only is Saudi Arabia, along with other Arab countries, wary of the possibility of the development of Weapons of Mass Destruction, but it also fears that this deal will allow Iran to become a greater regional power.
General manager of Al-Arabiya newspaper, Jamal Khashoggi, captured this sentiment when he said, “The (Geneva) agreement has reduced the Iran problem to the nuclear level only, while its regional interference is of key concern to GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries.”
Saudi Arabia’s concern with the deal is twofold – economic and political.
Economically, Saudi petroleum exports would receive fierce competition on account of the easing of oil sanctions on Iran. Iran would be able to reassert itself as a force to reckon with in OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries). In addition, the region is clearly divided along sectarian lines. Sunni powerhouse Saudi Arabia fears that the nuclear Iran would offer support to Shi’ite Muslim groups in the region.
In spite of this climate of suspicion, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, while touring Gulf Arab states, said, “We believe that Iran and Saudi Arabia should work together in order to promote peace and stability in the region.”
Pray for this nuclear deal to promote stability and not cause turmoil in the region (The Bible, Job 25:2).
Pray for Saudis to work with other nations to promote peace in the region (The Bible, Psalm 34:14).
Pray not only for the economic welfare of the Saudis, but also for their spiritual well-being (The Bible, 3 John 1:2).
Pray for Saudis to come to experience the love, grace, and peace that the Lord Jesus Christ gives (The Bible, John 1:14).
This article originally appeared in the JJanuary 2014 edition of the Win 10/40 Reporter
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