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Saudi king does not expect US-Iran military showdown

Saudi King Abdullah
by Staff Writers
Riyadh (AFP) May 15, 2006
Saudi King Abdullah said on Monday he did not expect the standoff between Iran and the United States over Tehran's nuclear program to lead to a military showdown.

"I think not," he told journalists when asked if he expected the current escalation between Iran and the United States to lead to an armed conflict in the oil-rich Gulf region.

"Iran knows its right and national and global duty, and so does America ... There are officials and thinkers in Iran who know the interest of their country and the interest of others well," said the Saudi king, whose remarks were aired on state television.

Saudi Arabia has advocated a negotiated settlement of the crisis over Iran's nuclear activities, which the United States and its Western allies fear hide an attempt to develop a nuclear weapon behind the screen of a civil atomic energy program. Tehran says it only wants to generate energy.

Abdullah described the situation in violence-plagued Iraq as "frightening," saying the killing going on there "saddens every person."

The Saudi monarch said there were "hidden hands" trying to stir up infighting in Iraq.

He said he hoped "the cloud hanging over Iraq will be dispelled and that its people will join hands for the sake of Iraq's interest."

Related Links

Iran says not interested in EU incentives
Tehran (AFP) May 16, 2006
Iran reiterated Tuesday that it was not interested in an European Union offer of incentives in return for a halt to the Islamic republic's nuclear programme.

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