President Barack Obama lied when he said his administration would retaliate if Syria used chemical weapons and claimed he “would promise something and do the opposite”, setting the Middle East back 20 years, a former top Saudi official has claimed.
Bandar bin Sultan, who served as the head of Saudi intelligence and later as the Saudi ambassador to the United States, lashed out against Obama in a wide-ranging interview with the Independent Arabia, a newly launched publication in London.
June 29, 2010: President Obama meets with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in the Oval Office. (Reuters)
He said that the late Saudi King Abdullah told Obama in their last phone call that “I did not expect that [after] this long life, I would see [the day] when an American president lies to me,” according to the Jerusalem Post.
The late king referred to Obama’s so-called “red line” he set it out in 2012, promising to retaliate against the Syrian regime if chemical weapons were used against civilians.
Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan seen at his palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (2008 image). (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
The former ambassador criticized Obama for promising one thing, but then doing the opposite, effectively setting the region back 20 years due to foreign policy errors.
As an example, bin Sultan cites Obama’s opposition to Iran and public promises to curb Iranian activities, yet later he ignored the Saudis and negotiated the nuclear accord with the regime, cementing a deep mistrust with the Obama administration.
Such moves in the region only emboldened Russia and Iran to spread their influence and led them to enter Syria and interfere in the civil war with horrific results.
Bin Sultan also called Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad a “kid” whose rule pales in comparison to that of his late father Hafez.