King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia urged Iran’s foreign minister to “spare us your evil” in a meeting that reflected profound Arab hostility to the Islamic Republic – a recurrent theme of high-level private conversations in the Middle East in recent times.
Leaked state department cables catalogue a litany of complaints from the Saudis and smaller Gulf states, as well as Egypt, Jordan and others, on issues from Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, to its involvement in Iraq and support for Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Palestinian Hamas.
“You as Persians have no business meddling in Arab matters,” the Saudi monarch was quoted as telling Manouchehr Mottaki, Iran’s foreign minister. “Iran’s goal is to cause problems,” he continued in a conversation with a senior White House official. “There is no doubt something unstable about them.”