News ID: 323053
Published: 0344 GMT July 23, 2022

Rapprochement in sight

Rapprochement in sight

International Desk

Only a few days have passed since US President Joe Biden traveled to the Middle East Region, but the signs of failure in reaching his predetermined goals are already beginning to emerge. To make matters worse, three days after Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Tehran, offsetting the efforts of the American media to build up the importance of Biden’s trip. Now, the US president’s failure is becoming even more evident. Case in point, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has expressed his willingness to have the foreign ministers of Iran and Saudi Arabia meet in Baghdad. Breaking the momentous news, Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein said that the date of the meeting will be announced soon.

The previous five rounds of talks between the delegations of Tehran and Riyadh have been at a “security” level. Now, it seems that both sides are ready to elevate talks to the political and diplomatic levels, as openly stated by Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who expressed hope that the talks will result in the rapprochement between the two countries. Amir-Abdollahian also announced that Kuwait has appointed a new ambassador to Tehran and that the United Arab Emirates’ ambassador will shortly arrive in Tehran.

Following Biden’s summit with nine Arab heads of state in Jeddah, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan maintained, “Our hands are outstretched to Iran.” Expressing Riyadh’s willingness to restore normal relations with Tehran, he held that diplomatic means are the only satisfactory solution to the issue of interacting with Iran.

Therefore, it is predicted that in the near future, Tehran-Riyadh talks will enter the political phase, leading to a meeting between Amir-Abdollahian and bin Farhan in Baghdad. Should the meeting take place, it would be due to Iran’s approach of interacting with its neighbors and regional countries. Tehran has declared its strategy to be pursuing convergence among regional countries to maintain and strengthen the security and development of political and economic cooperation. From Tehran’s viewpoint, instability in any part of the Middle East would be to the detriment of every country in the region and to the benefit of foreign powers.

Contrary to Iran’s approach is the US policy that has attempted to fan the flames of regional tensions and exaggerate the security problems. The US hopes to present dependence on Washington and closeness to Tel Aviv as the only means of providing stability and security for the region.

The United States and Israel, which have both been blamed for fueling tensions and insecurity in the region, are trying to portray Iran and its allies as the biggest cause of insecurity, and on the other hand, by highlighting such a fabricated danger, they seek to sell security to regional countries at an exorbitant price.

In the run-up to Joe Biden’s visit to the Middle East, media reports suggested that one of the main goals of his trip to be the formation of a united front of US regional allies against Iran, as Israeli authorities had openly called for such a security-military alliance between Arab countries and Israel. Now, days into the visit, there is no news of such a coalition. Moreover, it seems that Biden has not been successful in his mission to push for more crude oil into global markets for European countries. Following Biden’s visit to the Middle East, there has been no news indicative of a new deal to increase output to replace Russian oil and gas.

In the wake of Biden’s trip, the Saudi foreign minister said military or technical cooperation with Israel had never been discussed, neither during the summit in Jeddah nor before it.

Bin Farhan also said oil production was not mentioned in the Jeddah meeting and that OPEC+ has its own mechanism to monitor crude markets and to ensure needed energy supply.

Regional Arab countries appear to have realized part of the realities after having relations with the United States for years. They have now come to the conclusion that the priority for the White House to maintain US presence in the Middle East is to safeguard Washington’s interests and, in a broader picture, to ensure Israel’s security.

They have begun to show more interest in the strategy of regional convergence than before. Over the past weeks, officials from Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Saudi Arabia have highlighted the need for more interaction and dialogue with Iran. Some other countries such as Qatar, Oman and Iraq realized this necessity much earlier and have cemented good ties with the Islamic Republic.

Restoration of diplomatic ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia in the coming days would certainly help strengthen the call for regional convergence.



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