The success of the Geneva talks between the P5+1 and Iran is widely reported as being opposed by Israel and by the Gulf States, especially Saudi Arabia. Three important princes1have leveled much criticism against US policy in the Middle East, especially as regards Syria and Iran. However, it seems that no open criticism has been coming from the inner circle of major decision-makers in the Saudi Kingdom. In fact on November 25, the Saudi government issued a low-key statement of support to the Geneva agreement. Undoubtedly, Saudi Arabia feels threatened bywhat it perceives as Iran’s hegemonic tendencies, which from the Saudi point of view include the development of nuclear weapons and the establishment of a Shi’a crescent composed of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. This crescent is perceived as threatening by the Gulf monarchies. For Saudi Arabia, the Shi’a crescent and the development of nuclear weapons in Iran are the two faces of the same coin: the Iranian threat.
I explore these thoughts more for the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, Link here.