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Obama To Reassure Saudi King Over Iran Nuclear Deal


U.S. President Barack Obama will offer assurances to Saudi King Salman concerning the nuclear deal with Tehran, the White House has said.

Obama is hosting Salman on September 4 on the king's first U.S. visit since ascending to the throne in January. He will seek to allay Saudi fears that the lifting of sanctions will empower Iran to act in destabilizing ways in the Gulf region.

The White House meeting comes within days of a U.S. congressional vote on the nuclear deal.

"We understand that Saudi Arabia has concerns about what Iran could do as their economy improves from sanctions relief," Ben Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security adviser, said.

The United States believes Iran will use much of an estimated $100 billion in assets due to be unfrozen under the deal to improve its battered economy, he said, although he acknowledged a risk that Tehran might spend the funds on "nefarious activities."

Gulf Sunni Arab leaders have accused Shi'ite Iran of fomenting sectarian violence in places like Yemen, Syria, and Iraq.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP
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