RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, (AP) – Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister on Monday expressed doubts about the usefulness of more sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program.
Prince Saud al-Faisal told a news conference in the Saudi capital that the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear ambitions demands a more immediate solution than sanctions. He described sanctions as a long-term solution, and he said the threat is more pressing.
The Saudi minister spoke at a joint appearance with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is in the Persian Gulf to shore up support for new sanctions against Iran. The Saudi minister also said efforts supported by the U.S. to rid the Middle East of nuclear weapons must apply to Israel.
“Sanctions are a long-term solution,” the Saudi minister said. “But we see the issue in the shorter term because we are closer to the threat,” referring to Iran. “We need immediate resolution rather than gradual resolution.”
He didn’t identify a preferred short-term resolution.
U.S. officials traveling with Clinton said privately they were uncertain what al-Faisal meant, since the Saudi government has been explicit in its support of sanctions against Iran. They said he appeared to be suggesting that sanctions may not be effective and that other action could be required.