Saudi official urges Gulf unity to confront Iran

Saudi Arabia's deputy foreign minister says Gulf Arab states must seek full integration of key affairs such as diplomacy and defense to counter perceived threats including Iran's nuclear ambitions and Arab Spring spillover.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah's comments highlight strong Saudi support for unity efforts among the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council.

The Western-allied bloc has increasingly discussed closer coordination to battle Arab Spring-inspired opposition and confront regional rival Iran. Last year, a Saudi-led military force came to the aid of Bahrain's embattled monarchy against an ongoing uprising by the country's Shiite majority.

Prince Abdulaziz spoke at a conference Saturday on Gulf youth issues.