Iran's nuclear deal with global
powers was met with wary silence from Arab states on Sunday,
with Iran's only two Arab friends Iraq and Syria welcoming the
accord but others keeping their opinions to themselves.
All Arab countries apart from Syria and Iraq are ruled by
Sunni Muslims who mainly regard Shi'ite Iran as a foe and have
been deeply uneasy over the prospect of any rapprochement with
the West that would benefit Tehran.
Arab leaders worry that the deal, under which Iran is being
given relief from sanctions in return for curbs to its nuclear
programme, signals a thaw in the 30 years of hostility between
and Washington which will give Iran more regional clout.
"I am afraid Iran will give up something on [its nuclear
programme] to get something else from the big powers in terms of
regional politics. And I'm worrying about giving Iran more space
or a freer hand in the region," said Abdullah al-Askar
of Saudi Arabia
's appointed Shoura Council
, a quasi-parliament
that advises the government on policy.
"The government of Iran, month after month, has proven that
it has an ugly agenda in the region, and in this regard no one
in the region will sleep and assume things are going smoothly,"
At the time he spoke, Saudi Arabia
had yet to give any
official response, and Askar stressed that he was giving his
personal views. Other Sunni-ruled Arab states also had yet to
respond on Sunday.