Obama bets that U.S.-Gulf alliance can survive tensions over Iran

U.S. President Obama speaks as he takes part in the Catholic-Evangelical Leadership Summit on Overcoming Poverty at Georgetown University in WashingtonBy Matt Spetalnick and Warren Strobel WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama may fail to pacify Gulf Arab fears over his Iran nuclear diplomacy at a summit this week, following a pointed Saudi snub of the event. Obama appears confident Washington has enough leverage to fend off Sunni Arab pressure to do more to stop arch-rival Shi’ite Iran from intervening in conflicts across much of the region, underlining diverging interests between the United States and its long-standing Gulf allies. By resisting a push by some Gulf Arab nations for new formal security guarantees, for instance, Obama is gambling that the close but often uneasy alliance can weather current differences, especially given long-time Arab reliance on the U.S. military umbrella and advanced weapons supplies.


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