The World is Watching: The American Election and Saudi Arabia

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As we draw closer to November 8 and the U.S. presidential race heats up, countries around the world have focused on how the potential election of either Republican nominee Donald Trump or Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton will impact their relations with the United States.  In the eyes of Saudi Arabia, the impending U.S. election could have serious ramifications for U.S.-Saudi ties for years to come.

At the current moment, U.S.-Saudi relations are mired in a rough patch. A number of factors have contributed to this state of affairs, chief among them being the United States’ more active engagement with Iran – Saudi Arabia’s mortal enemy – under the Obama Administration. As explained by Cipher Brief expert and former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, James Smith,  “The top three foreign policy concerns of Saudi Arabia are Iran, Iran, and Iran. [The Saudis] see themselves surrounded by Tehran’s strategy of destabilization in the region.”

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