King Salman’s strategy partly responds to implementation of the nuclear deal in January
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Under King Salman, Saudi Arabia is expanding its confrontation with Iran well beyond the Middle East, no longer relying heavily on Western allies to smother Tehran's ambitions outside the Arab world.Since King Salman came to power early last year, and Tehran struck a nuclear deal with world powers, Riyadh has adjusted its strategy for countering the efforts of its Shiite rival to build influence in Africa, Asia and even Latin America.Most notably, the Sunni power has used Muslim networks to push states into cutting off contacts with Iran, including by creating an Islamic Coalition against terrorism without inviting Tehran to join. Riyadh is alarmed by Tehran's support for Hezbollah in Lebanon, and cut off military aid to the Beirut government after it failed to condemn attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran.Beyond the coalition initiative, Riyadh is trying to win the support of India and encourage it to isolate Iran.Riyadh's hosting of a summit of South American and Arab League states last year was also partly aimed at pushing back Iran, said a Saudi analyst who sometimes carries out diplomatic functions for the government.
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