A Saudi prince’s reaction to the nuclear agreement with Iran makes last week’s White House’s rosy spin of official reaction by Saudi Arabia to “ObamaDeal” look like an act that should never have gone on stage.
Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, former Ambassador to the United States, warned that the nuclear agreement with Iran “will wreak havoc in the Middle East” and that Gulf Powers are willing to attack Iranian nuclear sites, even if the United States is not interested.
One of King Salman’s first actions after taking the throne earlier this year was to yank Prince Bandar off the National Security Council, but he still is an advisor and an important voice, one that totally contradicts what President Barack Obama would like people to believe about Riyadh’s reaction the nuclear agreement.
White House Press Secretary, after a meeting between Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir and President Obama, glossed over Saudi skepticism of ObamaDeal and blah-blahed “about the important bilateral relationship that exists between the United States and Saudi Arabia.”
Believe that and then believe that President Obama has “an unbreakable bond with Israel.”
Prince Bandar’s comments to Beirut Daily Star and also reported by the Times of London were the first public criticism from Saudi Arabia, and he was straight to the point.
He warned that ObamaDeal will “wreak havoc” and then bluntly asserted:
Saudi Arabia and the Gulf powers are prepared to take military action without American support after the Iran nuclear deal
Prince Bandar is not a small voice. He was ambassador to Washington for 20 years, and MRC TV noted that it is unlikely that he would have conducted a major newspaper interview without King Salman’s blessing.
The prince’s view of the Obama administration sounds like Israel’s when it comes to relying on the United States.
“People in my region now are relying on God’s will, and consolidating their local capabilities and analysis with everybody else except our oldest and most powerful ally,” Prince Bandar told the Beirut newspaper.
He was even more candid in an article he wrote for the London-based Arabic news Web site Elaph, where he compared ObamaDeal with Bill Clinton’s agreement with North Korea, which supposedly would keep its word and not develop a nuclear bomb.
But Prince Bandar can forgive Clinton because “it turned out that the strategic foreign policy analysis was wrong and there was a major intelligence failure,” according to translation of interview provided by The Washington Post.
He said that he is “absolutely confident he would not have made that decision” if he had all the facts.
Prince Bandar said the case of Iran is different because:
The strategic foreign policy analysis, the national intelligence information, and America’s allies in the region’s intelligence all predict not only the same outcome of the North Korean nuclear deal but worse – with the billions of dollars that Iran will have access to.
He quoted a phrase first made by Henry Kissinger: America’s enemies should fear America, but America’s friends should fear America more.”
It sounds like Saudi Arabia and Israel are on the same page.