Can the Saudi announcement that they want to improve relations with Islamic Iran be taken seriously? Face with multiple crises, internal as well external, the Saudis may be trying to secure their flanks but it would be wise to deal with them with caution. They are not trustworthy.
Wednesday May 14, 2014, 08:13 DST
Has the Saudi regime seen the light of day and realized that it must improve relations with Islamic Iran? This is the impression Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal tried to convey yesterday while speaking to reporters in the Saudi capital Riyadh.
Faisal said that Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had been invited to visit Riyadh. “Iran is a neighbor, we have relations with them and we will negotiate with them,” Faisal said.
The long-serving foreign minister (in the post since 1975) added: “We will talk with them in the hope that if there are any differences, they will be settled to the satisfaction of both countries.”
Soon after assuming his post as foreign minister, Dr Javad Zarif had embarked on a whirlwind tour of regional countries and had expressed a willingness to visit Saudi Arabia as well when “circumstances permitted”.
This was a clear reference to the other side (Saudis) responding positively. It takes two to tango.
At the time, the Saudi regime was pursuing an aggressive policy vis-à-vis Iran especially in Syria where Riyadh-backed mercenaries have created total chaos. But these terrorists have not only turned on each other, they also pose a serious threat to the Saudi regime itself.
Recently, a cell of the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) was uncovered in Saudi Arabia sending shivers down the spine of the ruling family that is already teetering on the brink.
The Saudi regime’s policy to overthrow the government of President Bashar al Asad in Syria has failed. The Americans have also become cool towards the oppressive ruling family.
Further, the Saudis are not having their way in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) either that they thought would be their puppet alliance. Tiny Qatar has broken ranks and Oman has always maintained an independent stance, especially in its relations with Iran.
Faced with so many failures all around and with its internal situation fast deteriorating, the Saudi regime is trying to mend fences. There is also the realization that Iran is the dominant regional power and messing with it would prove costly.
One should, however, keep in mind that the Saudi ideology of Wahhabism has a visceral hatred of Shi‘ism and it would be unrealistic to expect that they would change their mindset any time soon.
Circumstances have forced the Saudis to change their tune but it would be prudent to treat them with caution and assess the situation carefully.
After all, the Saudi regime is very tight with the zionists, the enemies of Muslims as well as humanity.