US will not favour Iran over Gulf allies: US ambassador

October 5, 2011

Matthew Tueller

The US will not strike a deal in any form with Iran at the expense of its friends and allies in the region, the newly-appointed US ambassador to Kuwait has said.

Kuwait news portal Al Aan on Wednesday reported that Matthew H. Tueller who arrived in Kuwait on September 23 said that the US position towards Iran was defined by three main issues.

The Iranian nuclear project and Tehran’s attempt to acquire nuclear weapons, the Iranian oppression of its people’s peaceful demonstrations and the interference of Tehran in the domestic affairs of its neighbours are the issues that define the US positions, Al Aan reported Tueller as saying.

The envoy who presented his credentials to Kuwait’s Emir last week reportedly made the remarks at the diwaniya of Dr Saad Bin Tefla, the Kuwaiti publisher and former minister, when he was asked to comment on reports that Washington and Tehran were meeting behind closed doors.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have been wary about possible deals between the US and Iran at their expense. In December 2009, Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister, said that negotiations or talks on Iran’s nuclear programme that did not include the Gulf countries were doomed “because the process was flawed”.

“Somebody’s trying to do business while we are not there, while we are not present in that room,” he said. “This is a fundamental mistake of how these talks were conducted. I think that is the main reason why the talks failed,” Shaikh Khalid told the Manama Dialogue, a security conference that brought together political and security leaders from 25 countries, including Iran and the US.

Shaikh Khalid said the GCC countries were the most directly concerned with the talks between Iran and the major powers, but were not involved or consulted.

Tueller, the new US envoy is from Utah and is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service. His other overseas assignments have included deputy chief of mission in Cairo, political minister counselor in Baghdad, deputy chief of mission in Kuwait, political counselor in Riyadh, chief of the US office in Aden, deputy chief of mission in Doha, political officer in London and political officer and consular officer in Amman. His Washington assignments have included deputy director in the Office of Northern Gulf Affairs and Egypt desk officer.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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