Americans Criticize US Administration over Friendship with Saudi Arabia, Animosity toward Iran
The Los Angeles Times’ readership 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?”
A reader said Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy, while Iran just held a presidential election. The Saudis ban the Bible, while Christians and Jews have reserved seats in the Iranian parliament. Saudi money financed the Sept. 11 attacks, while no terrorist attack in the US has been linked to Iran. More than half of all Iranian university students are women, and in Saudi Arabia, women are not even allowed to drive.
Another added that Trump urges a greater fight against terrorism, but he fails to point out that most of the Sept. 11 attackers were from Saudi Arabia. For another, he lashes out against extremism, but he ignores that Al-Qaeda and Islamic State (ISIL, ISIS or Daesh) have derived much of their strength from Wahhabism, which is supported by the Saudi royals.
Some of the readers made mention of Al-Saud money and oil, while some other stressed that Riyadh is the friend of the US president, not the People of the United states.
Trump arrived in Saudi Arabia last week on the first leg of a nine-day tour, which then took him to Israel. According to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the $110 billion arms deal signed by Saudi King Salman and Trump on Saturday was a component of $350 billion in economic and military investments between the two countries over the next 10 years.
Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen since March 2015 to restore power to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so far killed at least 14,100 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children.
Despite Riyadh’s claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.
According to several reports, the Saudi-led air campaign against Yemen has driven the impoverished country towards humanitarian disaster.
Besides Riyadh intervention in Yemen, the US and Saudi Arabia, along with a number of their regional allies, stand accused of providing weapons and funding various militant groups wreaking havoc in countries like Syria and Iraq.
Just the day that Washington and Riyadh signed an arm deal, President Hassan Rouhani was officially named as the winner of Iran’s election to maintain power for another 4-year term in office.
Iran’s election headquarters said Rouhani has won 23,549,616 (57%) votes from the 41,220,131 (99.7%) ballots cast by the Iranian people. His main rival Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi has secured 15,786,449 (38.5%) votes.
After victory in election, Iranian President at a news conference in Tehran described US Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia as empty theatrics and mocking his support for a monarchy that has “never seen a ballot box.”
“Trump arrived in the region at the time when he saw 45 million Iranians participating in the elections,” Rouhani said, adding that “then he visited a country that I doubt knows the definition of elections. The poor things have never seen a ballot box.”