Baku, Azerbaijan, March 31
By Umid Niayesh, Saeed Isayev - Trend:
A Senior Iranian official claims that the US administration has a long-term plan for region countries in particular, Saudi Arabia.
"The US plans to make some changes in political sphere of the regional monarch countries, to create an image of democracy, Iran's defence minister, Hossein Dehghan said, Iranian Tansim news agency reported on March 31.
The minister went on to say that, the United States administration tries to maintain stability and security in the decaying regional regimes by making some superficial changes to protect its long-term interests in the region.
Commenting on the US president Barack Obama's visit to Saudi Arabia, Dehghan said that the US administration wants to ensure its regional allies of its support.
The US administration has been trapped with its macro plans for Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, the Iranian minister claimed.
Saudi Arabia has been involved in the Syrian crisis supporting the anti-government "terrorist groups," Dehghan said, adding that the "Syrian legal administration has the upper hand in the fight against groups which are being supported by foreigners."
"The Saudi administration may have some doubts on supporting the weakened groups, so Obama tries to convince the Saudis to continue their support from Syrian terrorist groups," the Iranian minister argued.
The US president met with Saudi King Abdullah on March 29 to reassure him about US support for "moderate" Syrian insurgents and any nuclear deal with Iran.
A US official said the two leaders discussed "tactical differences" but agreed their strategic interests were aligned, Reuters reported.
Relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia have been strained. Both Saudi Arabia and Iran have the aspiration of taking the leadership role in the region yet the two countries are poles apart politically.
While Iran is supporting the Lebanese Shiaa Movement Hezbollah and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Saudi Arabia is a key supporter of the Syrian opposition.
Saudi Arabia's concerns over Iran are mainly related to its plans of expanding influence to other parts of the Gulf region as well as a disagreement over Iran's nuclear program.