Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets with French President Emmanuel Macron in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, November 9, 2017. (Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS)
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When French President Emmanuel Macron flew into Riyadh for hastily arranged talks with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in November it was all smiles in public, but in private a tough dialogue over Iran signaled a change between the allies.Analysts note the 32-year-old Prince Mohammed has emphasized closer ties with U.S. President Donald Trump just at a time when Macron has in turn sought to improve relations with Iran and vowed to preserve the nuclear deal.According to three officials, the meeting was dominated by Prince Mohammed threatening to curb relations with France if Macron did not alter his desire to dialogue with Iran, Riyadh's regional rival, and push business interests there.Macron, the officials said, reminded Prince Mohammed of France's position in the world as a nuclear power, permanent member of the Security Council member and that France was free to do what it wanted.
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