U.S. Defense Secretary Carter meets with Saudi king amid tension over Iran

U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. Credit: Department of Defense.

(JNS.org) U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter met with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Wednesday against the backdrop of that nation’s fears over the American-brokered Iran nuclear deal.

In the meeting, Carter conveyed the greetings of President Barack Obama, “reviewed relations between the Kingdom and United States,” and “stressed the United States of America’s keenness on enhancing peace and stability in the region,” according to the Saudi Press Agency.

The meeting was also attended by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif, the Saudis’ deputy premier and interior minister, as well as Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the defense minister and second-in-line to the Saudi throne, Al-Arabiya reported.

Carter is on a regional tour of the Middle East as part of an effort to reassure allies over the nuclear deal with Iran. While not as vocal as Israel on the issue, Saudi Arabia has also been a strong opponent of the nuclear agreement and fears that Iran will use the deal’s sanctions relief to finance further instability and terrorism in the Middle East.

On Tuesday, Carter met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“The prime minister made it quite clear that he disagreed with us with respect to the nuclear deal in Iran,” Carter said in Jordan regarding the meeting with Netanyahu.

Posted on July 22, 2015 .