Saudis offers cautious support for Iran deal

Saudis offers cautious support for Iran deal

Saudi Arabia broke with Israel on Monday and offered cautious support for a U.S.-backed nuclear deal with Iran.

“This agreement could be a first step towards a comprehensive solution for Iran's nuclear program, if there are good intentions,” the Saudi government said in a statement, according to the Agence France Presse.

The statement leaves Israel isolated as the only outright foe of this weekend's preliminary deal to loosen sanctions in exchange for a freeze on aspects of Iran's nuclear program. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared Sunday that Israel would not be bound by a deal he said “made the world a much more dangerous place.”

The Saudi statement indicates the U.S. ally wants to avoid publicly confronting the Obama administration over a key diplomatic objective of the president's second term despite grave misgivings.

Saudi Arabia turned down a seat on the United Nations Security Council last month, an unprecedented move that threw into the spotlight the kingdom's dissatisfaction at Obama's reluctance to more forcefully confront Iran, its key rival in the region.

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