DPA - The United States is to offer Gulf Arab states a "nuclear umbrella" as protection against Iran, al-Hayat newspaper reported Thursday, as Washington seeks to reassure allies about its talks with Tehran on the Islamic republic's atomic program.
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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was in Saudi Arabia to meet with the foreign ministers of the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council - a bloc of Arab monarchies that comprises Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman.
The U.S. is leading talks by global powers with Iran on its controversial nuclear program, which many suspect is geared to produce a bomb.
The Arab Sunni monarchies in the region are particularly worried by Shiite Iran's potential nuclear ambitions and Tehran's growing influence across the Middle East.
Bilateral nuclear talks between Iran and the US are to pick up again on March 15, after chief diplomats concluded this week three days of talks in Switzerland.
In return for limiting its nuclear program, world powers are ready to offer Iran sanctions relief.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned during a speech to the U.S. Congress this week that the deal being worked on would be a "bad."
U.S. President Barack Obama rejected the Israeli leader's position, saying it offered no "viable alternative" to the negotiations with Iran.
The U.S.has a nuclear umbrella set up with its key allies in Asia to protect against North Korea.
On Saturday, Kerry is expected in Paris to meet his Western counterparts - Laurent Fabius from France, Frank-Walter Steinmeier from Germany and Philip Hammond from Britain - to confer on the nuclear negotiations. China and Russia are also part of the talks.