Americans ask: Why is Saudi (gulf dictators’) monarchies our friend, but not Iran?
The Los Angeles Times’ readership has questioned Washington’s claims of supporting democracy and social freedoms worldwide, asking why the US opts for amity and economic reciprocity with Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy, but antagonizes democratic Iran.
The reactions were published in the paper on Tuesday under the title, “Iran just held an election. So why is the theocratic monarchy Saudi Arabia our friend?”
The readers asked the reason why US President Donald Trump befriended a regime, which was defiant of what the US upholds as its core values.
“We go around the world selling and evangelizing equality, freedom of choice, free elections, self-determination and democracy,” said one reader.
This is while the kingdom does not select its rulers through election and has the radical ideology of Wahhabism as its state religion, he added, asking, “How can we look at ourselves in the mirror without seeing two faces?”
Another said Saudi Arabia does not tolerate religious diversity unlike Iran, and that its money had financed the 9/11 attacks, while no terrorist attack in the US had been linked to Iran.
“In Saudi Arabia, women are not even allowed to drive,” he noted. “Can someone explain exactly why we ally with Saudi Arabia against Iran?”
A third reader said the Takfiri al-Qaeda and Daesh terrorist groups, which have been responsible for unspeakable acts of terror worldwide, have been inspired by Wahhabism, again questioning the rationale behind the American-Saudi rapport.
He also said the US commander-in-chief had received a royal welcome in the kingdom while he faced much controversy and dissidence at home, referring to the scandal involving the president that his electoral campaign benefited from Russian assistance.
“He is comfortable among his royal hosts, away from the dissenters at home who fail to show proper respect,” the reader added.
Trump arrived in Saudi Arabia last week on the first leg of a nine-day tour, which then took him to Israel.
During the Saudi stay, Washington and Riyadh signed a USD-110-billion arms deal, which US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said was aimed at “countering” Iran.
In both places, Trump referred to Iran as a purveyor of terrorism and urged the Persian Gulf’s Arab states to unite against the Islamic Republic, endorsing both Riyadh and Tel Aviv’s anti-Iran stance.