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US urges Iran and Saudis to show restraint

  • Author:naky
  • Source:www.diecastingpartsupplier.com
  • Release on:2016-01-06
The US called yesterday for Saudi Arabia and Iran to show restraint amid fears the sharp escalation in tensions between the two countries could deepen proxy wars in Syria and Yemen and scupper fragile efforts to forge international solutions to the conflicts.

The potential increase in sectarian friction across the region could also affect countries ranging from Lebanon to Iraq and would make it even harder to mount an effective international military coalition against Isis, analysts said.

In a bid to prevent a further deepening of the diplomatic crisis, John Kerry, US secretary of state, yesterday spoke to deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to the Saudi press agency, having already called Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Mohammad Zarif, on Sunday night.

Josh Earnest, White House spokesman, urged Saudi Arabia and Iran to “de-escalate” the situation. “We are urging all sides to show some restraint and to not further inflame tensions that are on vivid display,” he said.

The Obama administration has been caught off-guard by the swift deterioration in relations between the two longstanding regional rivals, which began with the execution on Saturday of a prominent Saudi Shia cleric and led to the Saudi Arabia cutting diplomatic ties with Iran on Sunday after its embassy in Tehran was ransacked by protesters.

While the US has been less publicly critical of the Saudi executions than some western governments, administration officials say that Riyadh’s actions have added to the region’s already fierce sectarian tensions.
“The prospects for ending the civil war and defeating Isis have gone from near impossible to impossible,” said Aaron David Miller, a former senior state department official now at the Wilson Center.

While US officials admit that the new international process to end the Syrian war was already delicate, one of Mr Kerry’s main successes had been the agreement by Saudi Arabia and Iran last month to participate together for the first time in meetings about the conflict. In late December, the Saudis hosted a meeting of Syrian opposition activists as part of the diplomatic process.

Diplomats said Mr Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, were trying to establish a firewall between the Syria talks and the new Saudi-Iran showdown.