Tags: saudi | obama | mideast | iran | syria

Saudi Royal Family Member Blasts Obama's Iran, Mideast Policy

Image: Saudi Royal Family Member Blasts Obama's Iran, Mideast Policy Prince Turki al-Faisal

Sunday, 15 Dec 2013 11:09 PM

By Greg Richter

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A member of the Saudi royal family told The Wall Street Journal his country should have a seat at the Iran nuclear negotiations.

Prince Turki al-Faisal, brother of Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal, told The Journal that the Obama administration worked behind his country's back to secure the recent deal allowing a lifting of sanctions for six months as talks continue.

Saudi Arabia and Israel, America's two closest allies in the region, both complained about the deal, saying it took them by surprise. The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany were involved in the talks with Iran.

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In an interview The Journal characterized as rare in its bluntness, Prince Turki also talked about U.S. policy in Syria, which he characterized as bordering on "criminal negligence."

President Barack Obama failed to take action against the Syrian government after warning that use of chemical weapons would cross a "red line" demanding reprisals.

According to The New York Times, Prince Turki, said: “We’ve seen several red lines put forward by the president, which went along and became pinkish as time grew, and eventually ended up completely white.”

"The U.S. gave us the impression that they were going to do things in Syria that they finally didn't," Prince Turki said outside the World Policy Conference in Monaco. "The aid they're giving to the Free Syrian Army is irrelevant. Now they say they're going to stop the aid: OK, stop it. It's not doing anything anyway."

Prince Turki repeated the concerns of Israel and some members of Congress, who say the Iranian sanctions don't go far enough to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

"It's important for us to sit down at the same table," Prince Turki said. "We have been absent."

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