A high-ranking Saudi diplomat criticized the West’s nuclear deal with Iran and
lack of action against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime, saying that Saudi
Arabia may be forced to act alone to maintain stability in the Middle
In an op-ed published in The New York Times on Wednesday, Mohammed
bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz al Saud, the Saudi ambassador to Britain, expressed his
frustration at the West’s Middle East policy in unusually blunt
Nawaf wrote that Saudi Arabia has enormous responsibilities in
the region and the world, both economically and politically, and they cannot
stand by as Western countries cooperate with Iran and hesitate to use force in
“We will act to fulfill these responsibilities, with or without
the support of our Western partners,” he wrote, adding that “the West has
allowed one regime to survive and the other to continue its program for uranium
enrichment, with all the consequent dangers of weaponization.”
Doran, a senior fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the
Brookings Institution, who previously served as a US deputy assistant secretary
of defense and a senior director at the National Security Council, told The
Jerusalem Post that “it is true that the Saudis face considerable operational
and political limitations on what they can actually do.
“But having said
that, it is not all talk. They have never been more disillusioned with American
foreign policy, and they can be expected to go their own way on many issues,
Iran and Syria first and foremost,” said Doran.
Nawaf cited the
atrocities in Syria, which have claimed over 100,000 civilian deaths, and
reiterated Saudi Arabia’s support for the Free Syrian Army and the Syrian
Saudi Arabia also opposes Iran on countless fronts across the
region, including their involvement in Syria and support of Assad.
foreign policy choices being made in some Western capitals risk the stability of
the region and, potentially, the security of the whole Arab world,” Nawaf
“This means the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has no choice but to
become more assertive in international affairs: more determined than ever to
stand up for the genuine stability our region so desperately
Saudi Arabia turned down a coveted UN Security Council seat in
October to protest the failure of the international community to end the war in
Syria. It was the first country elected to the position to turn it
Saudi Arabia has traditionally avoided big political statements,
preferring to wield its influence as world’s top oil exporter, birthplace of
Islam and chief Arab ally of the United States behind closed doors.
Security Council has been paralyzed over the Syria conflict, with permanent
members Russia and China repeatedly blocking measures to condemn
Assad.Reuters contributed to this article.