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EghtesadOnline: The American newspaper Huffington Post in a report reviewed the relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, saying it looks like Riyadh is finally realizing its impulsive strategies and ill-conceived policies are not working in its favor.

According to the report, the Iraqi TV channel Alghadeer reported that Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), the impulsive crown prince who once said that he would take the fight to Iran, reached out to Haider al-Abadi, the Iraqi prime minister, requesting that al-Abadi lead a mediation effort with Iran.

Why this sudden change of heart from Saudi Arabia? The answer lies in not only the Middle East’s complex political dynamics, but also the kingdom’s declining regional political clout.

The kingdom’s demand for Iraq to act as a mediator to mend Saudi Arabia’s relations with Iran shows that the desert kingdom realizes a pragmatic political truth: Rather than fight Iran on all fronts, it makes sense to reestablish relations, to work together to resolve regional issues and to find a common ground on oil prices.

Another explanation is that Saudi Arabia wants to accelerate the inevitable political changes that will speed across the region once the Syrian conflict is resolved, tensions in Yemen subside, the blockade of Qatar gets lifted, and oil prices stabilize. It looks like that someone is advising the Saudi leadership not to lock horns with Iran because China and Russia will work behind the scenes to pull the two nations apart. It is in the interest of both China and Russia that conflicts in the region persist. That way, both countries, Russia and China, can realize greater opportunities to multiply their economic and political footprints in the region, to influence the internal affairs of the Middle East.

There are those in the Middle East who argue that the reestablishment of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia will bring stability to the region. But such an assessment is not true. The reason is that the desert kingdom’s initiative stems from fear of losing its leadership in the region—whatever is left of it—in the face of Iran’s growing influence. Thus, Saudi Arabia’s desire to repair relations with Iran is a strategic move.


Iran Sauid