Riyadh Seeking Resumption of Tehran Ties

Alireza SalimiAlireza Salimi

A lawmaker said he believes regional failures have prompted Saudi Arabia to seek the resumption of ties with Tehran, but a sense of pride has caused it to use intermediaries, pointing to the recent expression of readiness by the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council for dialogue with Iran. 

“Some regional states have failed in their regional objectives, including in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, and this has frustrated them,” Alireza Salimi also told ICANA on Sunday. 

“Saudis are caught in a military quagmire in Yemen, and they have seen their delusions of grandeur shattered in Syria,” he said, describing it as the reason for Saudis seeking better ties with Iran, which plays a prominent role in West Asia. 

Saudi Arabia started a military campaign in Yemen in early 2015 for restoring to power the fugitive president Abd-Rabbu Mansur Hadi, but neither its bloated military machine seems capable of making a difference, nor any bright prospects of a political achievement are on the Saudi horizon.

Riyadh also supports militants fighting to bring down the Syrian government, but the liberation of Aleppo last December has destroyed any hope for militants making any favorable gains. 

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah delivered a message from the six-member (P)GCC on dialogue with Iran to President Hassan Rouhani last Wednesday.

It indicated a political will among Persian Gulf Arab leaders to change course after they damaged relations with Tehran early 2016, using as an excuse the attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran by protesters angered over the Saudi execution of top Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr without due process of law. 

Salimi said Iran has proved that it does not seek confrontation and favors friendly relations based on mutual respect.

“Our message to regional countries is that we should not let others make decisions for the region,” he said, expressing hope that (P)GCC will allow a detente by taking steps in the right direction. 


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