Riyadh: Saudi Arabia will work with the Trump administration to contain Iran while strengthening ties with the US, foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir said.
President Donald Trump has “spoken about containing Iran and its ability to cause mischief, and making sure that Iran abides to the agreement that was signed," al-Jubeir said at a news conference in Riyadh on Tuesday, referring to the Islamic Republic’s nuclear deal with world powers. “This is exactly our position."
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Trump has vowed to dismantle or renegotiate the accord that lifted international sanctions on Iran last year, unlocking its oil exports. Such a move would be welcomed by Saudi Arabia, which opposed the agreement and is trying to contain Iran, its chief rival in the Middle East. The two countries are fighting proxy wars in Syria and in neighbouring Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition has carried out intensive airstrikes since 2015 and deployed a limited number of ground troops.
At the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, last week, Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif said his country and Saudi Arabia can work together for the stability of the region.
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Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, may see the Trump administration as an opportunity to reset strained ties with the US. The kingdom has faced rising criticism over the export of Wahhabism, a fundamentalist strain of Sunni Islam, the prosecution of the war in Yemen using American weaponry and other human rights concerns. Former-President Barack Obama publicly accused the Saudis of fueling unrest and proxy wars in the Middle East.
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Trump “has made it his objective to rebuild traditional alliances or alliances with traditional American allies, and this is something that we also welcome," al-Jubeir said. “We look forward to working with the Trump administration and we are very positive about the future of the US-Saudi relationship." Bloomberg