Volume XLVII – Number 1

Matt Sanford

Abstract: The P5+1 negotiations over a nuclear Iran leave strained political ties between the United States and Saudi Arabia. The disconnect between the United States’ rhetoric and actions has destabilized relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia, the United States’ most reliable ally in the Middle East after Israel, and can spell disaster for the United States’ diplomatic relations with nearby states as mistrust of the United States spreads. America’s policymakers should work quickly to repair the damage its emergent detente with Iran bring to US-Saudi relations. This paper analyzes how past events of US intervention in the Middle East have already established a precedent for mistrust of the US by the Saudi government. The analysis surveys the history of US-Iranian relations, giving special regard to Iran’s quest for a nuclear weapon and subsequent reactions by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). It also reviews US interventions in the Middle East under the Obama Administration, specifically in Syria, and the diplomatic ties between the United States and Saudi Arabia. This perceived mistrust and hurt by the Saudi Arabian government towards the United States may have unforeseen long-term consequences for American foreign policy in the Middle East.

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