Gates, in Riyadh, seeks Saudi help on Iran sanctions
Reuters / P. Stewart, edited by Barkin & Hemming

Defense Secretary Robert Gates asked Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah for support lobbying for U.N. sanctions against Iran on Wednesday and discussed ways to boost the kingdom's air and missile defenses.

The United States is leading a push for the U.N. Security Council to impose a fourth round of sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme, and aides to Gates made no secret of their hopes that Saudi Arabia could press regional allies for help.

"We are certainly hopeful that the Saudis will use whatever influence they have, which is considerable, in this region and throughout the world to try to help us," said Geoff Morrell, Pentagon press secretary, after the talks.

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