Saudis Tell US ‘Maximum Pressure’ Is the Only Way to Stop Iran

Minister says any Iranians interested in talking don't have 'real' power

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State Adel al-Jubeir has warned the US that the Saudi position remains that negotiation with Iran is never going to work, and the only way to get Iran to give them what they want is “maximum pressure” of sanctions and threats.

This comes after France tried to broker talks at the UN General Assembly that were built around talks for sanctions relief. The Saudis want to make clear that they oppose this tactic, and that staying the existing course is “the only way.”

Saudi opposition to negotiation with Iran is a consistent position, and Jubeir argued that any members of the Iranian government who show interest in talks “have no power,” and that the only Iranian officials with any power are those who don’t want to negotiate.

Given how many elected Iranian officials are open Reformists who have long advocated diplomatic engagement with the world, this is plainly not true. That the Saudis are continuing to argue this point, however, reflects how afraid they are that diplomacy might start before they can successfully steer the US toward another conflict.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of