U.S. President Barack Obama reportedly promised Saudi King Abdullah that the United States would not accept a “bad deal” with Iran, an American official said Friday.
According to Reuters, the official said that Obama and the King discussed “tactical differences” in their approach to some issues during a meeting in Riyadh on Friday, but agreed both sides remain strategically aligned.
The U.S. and Saudi Arabia had a falling out in recent months over the Obama administration’s foreign policy, particularly over Syria and Iran.
King Abdullah met Secretary of State John Kerry in November and discussed concerns about the unwillingness of the United State to intervene in Syria and recent overtures to Iran. Obama himself phoned the King that month to discuss bilateral ties.
Saudi Arabia turned down a seat on the United Nations Security Council in October, in a display of anger at the failure of the international community to end the war in Syria.
The kingdom also voiced criticism over the deal reached in November between Iran and the West over its nuclear program.
A senior advisor to the Saudi royal family said after the deal was signed that his country was deceived by its American ally in the agreements and will pursue an independent foreign policy in response.
According to the American official who spoke to Reuters Friday, Obama and the Saudi king had spoken frankly about a number of issues and “what might be or might have been tactical differences or differences in approaching some of these issues, but President Obama made very clear he believes our strategic interests remain very much aligned.”
The official added that Obama had assured the king that “we won’t accept a bad deal” on Iran and that the king “listened very carefully” to what Obama said.
The official said it was important for Obama to come and explain the U.S. position face-to-face with the king.