Obama greets Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef
Obama greets Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef Reuters

President Barack Obama on Thursday said that leaders of Gulf allies at a summit have agreed that a comprehensive, verifiable deal that blocks Iran's pathway to a nuclear weapon would serve everyone's interests, reports The Associated Press (AP).

He added that the United States and the Gulf nations had pledged to work together to address threats to the region, including those blamed on destabilizing behavior by Iran.

Obama pledged America's "ironclad commitment" to the Persian Gulf nations to help protect their security, pointedly mentioning the potential use of military force and offering assurances that a potential nuclear agreement with Iran would not leave them more vulnerable.

He said the U.S. would join the Gulf Cooperation Council nations "to deter and confront an external threat to any GCC state's territorial integrity."

"Let me underscore, the United States keeps our commitments," Obama said at a news conference in Camp David.

The summit is meant to assure Gulf leaders over the impending deal with Iran, as Gulf states have been repeatedly expressing their concern about the terms of a potential nuclear deal and warning that a final agreement could allow Iran to keep the technologies needed to produce nuclear weapons.

The summit got off to a rocky start when Saudi King Salman decided at the last minute that he would skip the meeting in order to focus on the Yemen ceasefire and humanitarian aid effort.

The move was interpreted by many as a deliberate rebuff to Obama, but Saudi Arabia insisted the king did not intend to snub the President.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Thursday Arab leaders were "assured that the objective is to deny Iran the ability to obtain a nuclear weapon" and that all pathways to such a weapon would be cut off.

He added that it was too early to know if a final nuclear agreement would be acceptable, saying, "We don't know if the Iranians will accept the terms they need to accept."

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