News ID: 135680
Published: 1159 GMT January 25, 2016

US has 'strong ties' with Wahhabi regime in Saudi Arabia

US has 'strong ties' with Wahhabi regime in Saudi Arabia

The United States has had a strong partnership with Saudi Arabia for decades, despite the regime’s promotion of the extremist Wahhabi ideology and support of terrorism around the world, said an investigative journalist and author.

Washington has had “strong ties” with Riyadh since the administration of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, said Joe Lauria, a New York-based independent foreign affairs correspondent and freelance member of the Sunday Times of London.

The arms and oil trade between the two countries has been the foundation of their “strong partnership” because it’s “good for American interests,” Lauria told Press TV on Monday.

“They won’t use their leverage against the Saudis to back off their support for extremist groups,” he added.

Despite the historic ties, the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia has become progressively worse amid Riyadh’s growing international isolation and increasing domestic instability, experts say.

“We've seen a long deterioration in the US-Saudi relationship, and it started well before the Obama Administration,” a former US ambassador to Riyadh, Charles W. Freeman Jr., told the Los Angeles Times earlier this month.

A recent congressional hearing indicates America cannot defeat global terrorist groups such as Daesh (ISIL) as long as Saudi Arabia continues to sponsor Wahhabism.

Speaking in an early January congressional hearing aired by C-SPAN, Democratic congressman from Georgia, Hank Johnson said, “It is true …that the ideology of ISIL lines up with Wahhabism.”

Congressman Johnson asked participant in the hearing panel Robert Ford, a former US ambassador to Syria, “Is it fair to say that Saudi’s support for the teachings of Wahhabism creates fertile ground for ISIL recruitment efforts?

Ford, now a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington, answered, “I think Saudi promotion of Wahhabism is absolutely a problem” when it comes to ISIL recruitment.

Saudi Arabia's growing international isolation and Iran's rising regional influence has led Riyadh to cut diplomatic ties with Tehran, according to a recent analysis by the Eurasia Group, the world's largest political-risk consultancy.

"Saudi Arabia is in serious trouble, and they know it," Ian Bremmer, an American political scientist and president of Eurasia Group, earlier told Business Insider.

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