Saudi envoy: West’s policies on Syria and Iran dangerous gamble

Saudi envoy: West’s policies on Syria and Iran dangerous gamble
Updated 22 December 2013

Saudi envoy: West’s policies on Syria and Iran dangerous gamble

Saudi envoy: West’s policies on Syria and Iran dangerous gamble

WASHINGTON: Saudi Arabia is prepared to act on its own to safeguard security in the region, the Saudi ambassador to Britain has said in a commentary published in the New York Times.
Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf termed the West’s policies on Iran and Syria as a dangerous gamble. “We believe that many of the West’s policies on both Iran and Syria risk the stability and security of the Middle East,” the ambassador wrote. “This is a dangerous gamble, about which we cannot remain silent, and will not stand idly by,” he stated.
Citing Iran’s backing for Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime, he said “rather than challenging the Syrian and Iranian governments, some of our Western partners have refused to take much-needed action against them.
“The West has allowed one regime to survive and the other to continue its program for uranium enrichment, with all the consequent dangers of weaponization,” he wrote. Diplomatic talks with Iran may “dilute” the West’s will to confront both Damascus and Tehran, he said.
As a result, Saudi Arabia “has no choice but to become more assertive in international affairs: More determined than ever to stand up for the genuine stability our region so desperately needs.”
Saudi Arabia had “global responsibilities,” both political and economic, and he said: “We will act to fulfill these responsibilities, with or without the support of our Western partners.”
The Saudi ambassador said that “for all their talk of ‘red lines,’ when it counted, our partners have seemed all too ready to concede our safety and risk our region’s stability.”
The Saudi ambassador slammed the West for its reluctance to offer decisive help to Syrian rebels, vowing to continue support for the Free Syrian Army and the “Syrian opposition.”
Acknowledging the threat of Al-Qaeda-linked groups in Syria, he argued the best way to counter the rise of extremists among the rebels was to support the “champions of moderation.”