JERUSALEM – Responding to President Obama’s diplomatic outreach to Iran, Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab countries are exploring closer relationships with China and Russia at the expense of the U.S.
According to a senior Jordanian diplomat speaking to WND, the Kingdom of Jordan today participated in a meeting with high-level Saudi officials to discuss the ramifications of Obama’s phone call with Iranian President Hassan Rohani.
The Arab countries expressed deep concern about talk of the U.S. easing ties with foe Iran.
In the meeting, the leaders discussed having the Saudis and other Sunni Arab nations offer Russia and China larger roles in diplomacy and trade.
In exchange, the Russians and Chinese would be expected to scale back some of their support for Iran and Syria while taking a more balanced approach toward the Sunni Arab world.
Currently, Russia and China exert heavy influence on Syria and Iran while the U.S. has closer relations with the Sunni Arab axis in the Middle East.
The Saudis raised the possibility of offering Chinese and Russian companies lower prices on oil to compete with Iran.
According to the Jordanian diplomat, Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi ambassador to Washington, expressed concern that escalated economic outreach to Russia and China could negatively impact the U.S. economy. Already, Saudi Arabia is the largest oil exporter to China.
The Saudis have been particularly vexed over Iran’s growing influence as well as Tehran’s reported meddling in Saudi internal affairs.
WND reported last month an Iranian cell was caught in Saudi Arabia attempting to provoke a Shiite rebellion against the Saudi kingdom, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials.
The security officials said interrogation of the cell of seven Iranian agents caught in an eastern Saudi province revealed the existence of a second cell in Bahrain also attempting to destabilize the country by plotting a Shiite rebellion.
The security officials stated Saudi Arabia passed information to the Obama administration warning that the U.S. outreach to Iran has already emboldened Tehran to press ahead with a campaign to attempt to weaken moderate Arab regimes that are U.S. allies.