The deteriorating ties between the US and Saudi Arabia is primarily due to Washington’s declining influence in the Middle East and its shift toward Iran, an American analyst says.
“Instead of being the hegemon– the dominant power that rules over all of Middle East– the United States is now an empire in decline, its authority is challenged,” said Brian Becker, the national coordinator for the ANSWER Coalition, a US-based protest umbrella group consisting of many antiwar and civil rights organizations.
“The Middle East and the network of authority through which the United States controlled a great deal of the Middle East has come undone as a consequence” of US military interventions, Becker told Press TV on Monday.
The analyst also noted that the nuclear agreement reached between Tehran and world powers in July “has created great fear and anxiety within the Saudi regime.”
“The Saudis are pursuing a policy based on fear, fear that peace can break out in the Middle East between the United States and Iran,” he said.
Experts say the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia has become progressively worse amid Riyadh’s growing international isolation and increasing domestic instability.
For years, oil was the bedrock of the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia, two nations that share few common values.
“We’ve seen a long deterioration in the US-Saudi relationship, and it started well before the Obama administration,” a former US ambassador to Riyadh, Charles W. Freeman Jr., told the Los Angeles Times.
“The US-Saudi relationship is based entirely on interests, not values,” he said. “It’s been an impossible relationship in value terms from the beginning.”
The fracture in US-Saudi relations isn’t going away, because the foundations of the relationship — the interests the two countries once had in common — are no longer as strong, Freeman said.
“We can’t undo everything we’ve done,” he said.