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National Security & Defense

Krauthammer’s Take: Iran Deal ‘Culmination’ of Obama Abandoning Saudis

The intensifying Saudi Arabia-Iran conflict is directly attributable to the Obama Administration’s “abandonment” of Saudi Arabia, Charles Krauthammer argued tonight on Special Report.

Commenting on Saudi Arabia executing an Iranian cleric, Krauthammer said, “I can’t say the Saudi execution of this Shiite cleric was very wise, but they did see it as in their national interest, and I think they are acting fairly desperately. Because they look around and their protector since the 1930s when King Saud met with FDR, and they essentially established this relationship — ‘you supply us oil, we protect you’ — is deeply in jeopardy.”

“They look at the way Obama has abandoned them,” Krauthammer continued. “The nuclear deal is just the culmination of the process. Abandoned them in Syria, abandoning the red line, has done nothing since the signing of the nuclear agreement.”

Krauthammer said the Saudis now worry about encirclement: “Iran has become increasingly aggressive in Syria. In Yemen, which is, remember, is right on the doorstep of Saudi Arabia – it’s not removed the way Syria is – and they see serious encirclement.”

The Saudis, Krauthammer said, now view themselves as being completely on their own:

Just last week the U.S. responded to the firing of the missiles, illegal firing of the nuclear-capable missiles by Iran by threatening trivial sanctions and then actually canceling, or postponing the sanctions, when the Iran protested and said they would increase their production of missiles. In other words, the U.S. would not even respond to an open provocation on the missile issue, and what they read is complete abandonment. They are now on their own, and then they’re not going to have to face the Iranians and their allies on their own. And if that means they have to execute a Shiite who is an insurrectionist in their country, he’s got to be executed.

NR Staff — Members of the National Review editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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