During the waning months of negotiations before last week’s P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran, opposition to negotiations and to a pact came hard and fast from Israeli officials, Saudi officials, and from officials in other Saudi-allied Gulf states.
Israel is still complaining daily about the pact, but according to Defense Secretary Ash Carter, the Saudis have been generally supportive since the deal’s announcement, suggesting they, at least, are resigned to the idea of an international rapprochement with Iran.
Carter, who had just finished meeting with the Saudi King and Defense Minister, says their only reservations about the deal were about how it’s going to be implemented, concerns he says he shares. He also insisted he reassured them about the “snap-back sanctions” provisions.
Carter went on to insist that the Saudis agree with the US that there is “no military solution” in Yemen. Saudi Arabia attacked Yemen in March, vowing to reinstall resigned President Hadi in power. The US has backed this war and participated in a limited fashion. Carter claimed the Saudis want a “political settlement,” despite Saudi officials repeatedly saying they will accept nothing less than a full surrender by the Shi’ite Houthis and the installation of Hadi back in power.