WikiLeaks at it again: Jordan and Saudi urge Iran action

"Cut off the head of the snake" America is told.

Among the 250,000 secret messages sent by US embassies around the world -- and now made public thanks to the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks -- some that stand out tonight relate the desire of two Arab states to deal militarily with Iran.

In one, sent from the US embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia it is suggested that Saudi King Abullah urged the United States to "cut off the head of the snake".

Intriguingly, Jordan has also been urging an attack against Iran. Writing on the BBC website, the corporation's Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen, noted:

The fact that the Saudis, Jordanians and others are deeply suspicious about Iran's intentions is well known. What has not been known until now is how strongly they have been pressing for American military action.

The New York Times and the Guardian, among others, have more stories emerging from the leaked documents. The White House has condemned the release. In a statement it said:

President Obama supports responsible, accountable, and open government at home and around the world, but this reckless and dangerous action runs counter to that goal.

 

 

Jon Bernstein, former deputy editor of New Statesman, is a digital strategist and editor. He tweets @Jon_Bernstein. 

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Police shoot man in parliament

A man carrying what appeared to be a knife was shot by armed police after entering the parliamentary estate. 

From the window of the parliamentary Press Gallery, I have just seen police shoot a man who charged at officers while carrying what appeared to be a knife. A large crowd was seen fleeing from the man before he entered the parliamentary estate.

After several officers evaded him he was swiftly shot by armed police.

Ministers have been evacuated and journalists ordered to remain at their desks. 

More follows. Read Julia Rampen's news story here.

Armed police at the cordon outside Parliament on Wednesday afternoon. Photo: Getty

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.