Analysis: More Mideast allies fear U.S. soft on Iran
Jim Michaels, USA TODAY
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has trumpeted his worries about a U.S.-Iranian nuclear deal, most recently to the U.S. Congress last week. Equally concerned but less vocal are Saudi Arabia and other moderate Arab states who play vital roles as bulwarks against radical Islamists in the region.
Shared interests Washington and Tehran have in driving the Islamic State out of Iraq and Syria are another source of worry for the allies, who do not want to see Iran’s radical leadership emerge as a more powerful and potentially nuclear-armed state in the region.
“Distrust in Saudi Arabia toward the United States hasn’t been this high since 1973,” during the oil embargo, said Michael Rubin, an analyst at the American Enterprise Institute.
Reports last week that Iran’s military was playing a prominent role in an Iraqi offensive to drive Islamic State militants from Tikrit, north of Baghdad, raised a fresh a wave of fear that the United States isn’t doing enough to blunt Iran’s expansionist designs.