Iran talks leave Sunni Arabs fretting about Tehran’s tentacles

John Kerry with Saudi foreign minister Saud al-Faisal ahead of his meeting with King Salman in Riyadh

John Kerry with Saudi foreign minister Saud al-Faisal ahead of his meeting with King Salman in Riyadh

US reassurances to Saudi Arabia over talks with Iran present several problems

The effrontery with which Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, and his Republican partisans in the US Congress, have tried to abort President Barack Obama’s putative nuclear deal with Iran has uncorked much sound and fury.

Rather less attention has been given to what might happen in the Middle East after any such deal. That is what most concerns Saudi Arabia and – less stridently – Turkey, America’s traditional allies in the region aside from Israel.

John Kerry, US secretary of state, has devoted great effort in particular to appeasing the anger and assuaging the fears of Saudi Arabia and its Sunni allies, who see in Shia Iran a rival for hegemony not just in the Gulf but across the Levant.

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