Friday, November 15, 2013

The Saudi-Israeli Tag Team

Exclusive: As the Obama administration scrambles to salvage a deal with Iran on its nuclear program, the new Saudi-Israeli alliance shows off its muscles in bending politicians and policies to its will, Robert Parry reports.

By Robert Parry

What makes the potential of the Saudi-Israeli alliance so intimidating is that Saudi Arabia and its oil-rich Arab friends have the petrodollars that can turn the heads of some leaders and even countries, while Israel can snap the whip on other politicians, especially in the U.S. Congress, through its skillful lobbying and propaganda.
We are now getting a look at exactly how this international money-and-politics game plays out as Saudi Arabia and Israel maneuver to defeat an interim agreement with Iran on freezing much of its nuclear program in exchange for some modest relief on economic sanctions.

Secretary of State John Kerry addresses reporters in Geneva on Nov. 8, 2013, after arriving for what turned out to be failed talks aimed at reaching an interim agreement on Iran's nuclear program. (Photo credit: State Department)
Secretary of State John Kerry addresses reporters in Geneva on Nov. 8, 2013, after arriving for what turned out to be failed talks aimed at reaching an interim agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. (Photo credit: State Department)

Saudi Arabia and its Persian Gulf neighbors lavished contracts and other financial favors on the economically hard-pressed French – and lo and behold, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius showed up at the last minute in Geneva and blew up the nuclear deal. (Last summer, the French were in lock-step with the Saudis in their eagerness to see the U.S. military start bombing Syria, an Iranian ally.)

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