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Need to end Saudi-Iran animosity

Need to end Saudi-Iran animosity

One completely fails to understand why even a thought of ending Saudi-Iranian animosity make the supporters of monarch jittery. If one could recollect lately Iraq made an attempt to ease tension between the two arc enemies, but turmoil was created in Iraq. Soon after two top military strategist, one each from Iran and Iraq were killed, the probability of war in the region increased manifold.

Recently, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who traveled to Germany to attend the 2020 Munich Security Conference, said that after the martyrdom of commander Qasem Soleimani, we received a message from Saudi Arabia calling on talks with Iran. Zarif also reiterated that although he replied to the Saudis’ response, he received no further messages.

Following the remarks by the Iranian foreign minister, Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud claimed that Riyadh had not sent any private messages to Tehran. On the issue of talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia, there seem divergent thoughts, which must be explored to end the animosity.

First, it is being said that Saudi Arabia is trying to compare the dialogue between Riyadh and Tehran with the US-Iran negotiation and is constantly changing its stance on Iran. The nature of the negotiations between Iran and the US differs from that between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Iran has repeatedly stated that it is willing to hold talks with the Saudis without any preconditions, as the proximity of the two countries is in favor of stabilizing the region and reducing tensions.

Second, the Saudis have always set mostly general and vague preconditions for starting talks with Iran, such as the need for Iran to change its behavior in the region. The foreign policies of the countries are defined by their foreign interests, so Saudi Arabia expects to change all of Iran’s behavior and policies in the region, which is totally inappropriate.

Third, Saudi officials have been at odds over developments in the region; on the one hand, they know that the US and the West cannot provide the country’s security forever, which led Riyadh to the dialogue with Tehran, and on the other hand, they are still looking forward. The recent regional developments have led Saudi Arabia to face new developments in the region.


Fourth, remarks by Zarif indicate that the Saudis are deeply afraid of escalating tensions in the region. Whenever military tensions are heightened in the region the Saudis reduce their provocative actions against Iran, but once the situation is settled down they resume their actions. The most notable sample of this behavior is Saudi Arabia’s reaction to the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani, as it was trying to not take a provocative stance against Iran.

Fifth, Saudi Arabia needs to restore its ties with Iran to deal with the regional cases. The first issue is the attrition warfare in Yemen that began in March 2015 with the invasion of the Saudi-led coalition and has continued until now. There are clear thoughts a war that had nothing but destruction for the Yemeni people and defeats and lots of military costs for the Saudis.

In its recent actions toward Damascus, Saudi Arabia has shown that it is seeking to improve its relations with Syria, a country that has strong ties with Iran and is a part of the axis of resistance. In this regard, Syria’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Bashar Al-Jaafari, recently attended a special ceremony held in honor of the Saudi Minister of State in New York, Fahad Bin Abdullah Al Mubarak, which drew lots of controversy.

Diplomatic sources in New York said the Saudi delegate to the UN, Abdullah bin Yahya al-Muallami had intentionally met with Bashar al-Jaafari during the visit, which was unexpected for the attendees. During their celebration Saudi officials expressed their love for Syria and said that it remained in their hearts, adding that what had occurred between the two countries was nothing but a summer cloud that will inevitably pass.

Ankara has become a relentless rival to Riyadh in all aspects these days. This issue has been worsened following the Persian Gulf crisis, Saudi Arabia’s cut of relations with Qatar and the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Saudi Arabia needs to improve its relations with Iran to be able to prevent Turkish influence, especially in African countries and Libya.

Improving relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia can undoubtedly be helpful in settling the crisis between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as Doha has gotten closer to Tehran and Ankara since the crisis.

The point is that some parties will certainly be dissatisfied with the close relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia and will make every effort to obstruct it.

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