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Saudi Arabia Sought Dialogue With Iran. Then The U.S.-Iranian Conflict Escalated



Photo of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
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The U.S. killing of senior Iranian military commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani left many of America’s allies in the Middle East confused and nervous. That includes Saudi Arabia, the top regional rival of Iran.
The Saudi-U.S. relationship has become particularly close since President Trump took office. It could prove to be a double-edged sword for the kingdom, analysts say, as Iran contemplates its next moves. Iran and Saudi Arabia have long battled for regional dominance, and the U.S. has supported the Saudi-led war in Yemen against Iran-backed Houthi forces.
Trump made a speech Wednesday that seemed intended to avert a war with Iran. There had been signs Saudi Arabia and Iran were already trying to ease tensions. But that was before the U.S. killed Soleimani and Iran fired missiles at bases housing U.S. troops in retaliation.
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