Saudi Arabia as Skeptical as Israel over Iran Deal

King Salman expresses many of the same concerns Israel has had over Iran deal in meeting with US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter.

Tova Dvorin ,

Saudi Arabia's King Salman
Saudi Arabia's King Salman

Saudi Arabia is just as wary of the deal between Iran and the West as Israel is, Saudi state media indicated Wednesday, after King Salman bin Abdulaziz expressed concerns over the Islamic Republic's terror regime and accountability in a meeting with US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. 

Carter “stressed the United States of America's keenness on enhancing peace and stability in the region,” the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) stated Wednesday. 

During the meeting, Salman expressed doubt about the veracity of the checks and balances on the Iranian nuclear program, and questioned the "snap-back" sanctions program if Iran violated its terms, Carter told reporters. 

"Those are the same issues that we know will arise," he responded. 

Riyadh backs Israel's view that the deal will only empower Tehran and its terror proxies, the Saudi-based Al-Arabiya news site reflected, and is also convinced that Iran will be able to build a nuclear weapon regardless of the deal due to the lax terms imposed on the Islamic Republic - including ample warning before inspections and the limited development of select warheads under "laboratory conditions." Both are faults in the plan Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has stressed several times in various speeches as the deal has developed. 

The juxtaposition is a rare acknowledgement of agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia which have no formal diplomatic contact but have reportedly been growing more cooperative as the deal has progressed. 

After a quiet meeting with Carter Tuesday, Netanyahu briefly alluded to regional agreement over the poor quality of the deal during a press conference Wednesday with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

"In Israel and in many countries in the Middle East, there is broad agreement – this is a bad agreement that must be opposed," he said.