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The Change of Saudi Arabia's Stance is Obvious

Saudi Arabia publicly changes its position on the nuclear framework agreement reached last week between Iran and six world powers. Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet said that it welcomes the agreement. The Council of Ministers said in a statement that it hopes a final agreement would be reached, leading to greater regional security and stability, reports Gulf news. King Salman expressed similar sentiments on Thursday in a phone conversation with President Barack Obama, according to the official Saudi Press Agency. The Cabinet said stability and security require non-interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries. The statement added that the kingdom seeks a Middle East free of all weapons of mass destruction.

The change of Saudi Arabia’s stance is quite obvious. Earlier in March the Saudi Foreign Ministry called on world powers "not to conclude transactions with Iran over its nuclear program". Saudi Arabia's foreign minister pointed to the need to act "in order to obtain guarantees that Iran's peaceful nuclear program will not turn into a nuclear weapon, representing threat to the region and the world, especially in light of Iran’s aggressive policy in the region and his constant interference in the affairs of the Arab States".

However, the mistrust between two sides remains deep. "It's about verification. If they don't comply, the boycott will be reimposed. This is a reassuring result," - Reuters quoted a Gulf source close to official Saudi thinking as saying. "However, it is also worried that a deal which lifts international pressure, including sanctions, on Iran, will allow the Islamic Republic more space to arm and finance proxies that Riyadh opposes in countries across the region."

Some analysts consider the change in Saudi Arabia’s position to be conditioned by the American pressure, saying that the US is the main security guarantee of the monarchy and promises to stand "with its regional partners to address Iran's destabilizing activities in the region,". Meanwhile, others consider that this change is related to Yemen crisis and Saudis want to find some common edges with Iran in the light of the improvement of Iranian-western relations.  

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