Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Saudi King To Iran: On Your Own

UPDATE: Check out the new blog covering the Mid East: Outsider On The Inside

In a meeting last month between Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and Iran's President Ahmadinijad, a message was delivered to Iran that it had to "bear the consequences" of its actions. Speaking about Iran's current confrontation with Western powers over its nuclear program and the British soldier incident, a Saudi official had this to say about the meeting:

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) -- Saudi Arabia has told Iran not to count on the kingdom's help if the international community imposes harsher measures on Tehran because of its refusal to abide by international requirements on the nuclear issue.

At a meeting in Riyadh last month, King Abdullah told visiting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that Iran will have to "bear the consequences" of its actions, and should not underestimate the power, capabilities or will of the United States and the rest of the international community, according to a Saudi official.

"We told him, 'Don't come back to us and say you wish somebody had told you that,'" the official said. "Don't come back and ask for help."

The king was equally blunt with Syrian President Bashar Assad, whom he met in Riyadh on the sidelines of the Arab summit last month. Abdullah told Assad that if he wants to improve relations with Saudi Arabia -- which are at an all-time low -- he first has to prove his good intentions in Lebanon, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issues.

Abdullah's words to the two close allies -- Iran and Syria -- come amid Saudi worries that the two countries' defiance of the international community could plunge the region into larger chaos than the turmoil that resulted from Saddam Hussein's refusal to come clean on his weapons of mass destruction program.

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