President Obama called King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia on Wednesday to “share the details” of the nuclear accord with Iran, four days after the pact infuriated the Saudis.
The White House said Mr. Obama phoned the king “as part of regular consultations between our two countries on the range of Middle East issues.” Mr. Obama reaffirmed “the importance of Iran following through on its commitments,” the statement said.
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On Sunday, the U.S. and five other world powers reached an agreement with Iranian leaders to curb its nuclear program in exchange for the easing of economic sanctions.
Israel and Saudi Arabia, the two most important U.S. allies in the Middle East, were angered by the pact. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it “an historic mistake,” arguing that Iran has no intention of abandoning its ambitions to build a nuclear bomb.
Although the Saudis were more cautious than the Israelis in their public reaction, they were widely reported to be perturbed behind the scenes about a lack of consultation with the U.S. And the kingdom’s only public words still contained warnings and caveats about whether the deal would be followed though on.
“If there is goodwill, then this agreement could be an initial step toward reaching a comprehensive solution,” an official statement from the Saudi Cabinet said Monday.
The White House said Mr. Obama reiterated to the Saudi king “the firm commitment of the United States to our friends and allies” in the oil-rich Persian Gulf.