Monday, November 4, 2013

Fwd: Saudi Arabia

'The historic 15-minute phone call between President Barack Obama and Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani may have cost the U.S. one of its key friends in the Middle East.


President Obama's phone call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani marks the first time the nations' leaders have communicated directly since 1979. What does this mean for their future relationship? NBC's Chuck Todd reports.


The U.S. and Saudi Arabia have been allies for some 80 years, with the U.S. offering military protection to the world's second-biggest oil producer.


But as relations warm between Tehran and Washington, Saudi Arabia last month signaled that it will "shift away from the U.S.," giving Secretary of State John Kerry plenty to discuss with King Abdullah when they meet on Monday.

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Riyadh is deeply skeptical of Iran's charm offensive and frustrated by an alleged lack of consultation over Washington's changing stance toward a country once branded as a member of the so-called "axis of evil."


Only five years ago, the Saudis urged the U.S. to strike Iran -- which is situated just across the Persian Gulf from the kingdom. The Saudi government fears that the development of an Iranian nuclear weapon would seriously threaten its national security.'


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