Is Gulf reconciliation with Iran possible?

Recent measures were taken to restore and repair the dilapidated relations between Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries, or most of them to be exact, with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The recent visit of Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid to Tehran, and his meeting with President Rowhani and Foreign Minister Zarif, came in this direction. It was said that the Kuwaiti minister conveyed a collective message from the Gulf countries stating that Iran should stop interfering in the internal Gulf security and in Yemen, which means the entire Arabian Peninsula as well as Iraq, and Syria to “repair” the relations.

In fact, there are common genuine interests between Iran and the Gulf countries, mainly Saudi Arabia, if we put the ideology obsession aside. For example, the coordination over the oil file is in the interests of Iran and its Arab neighbors, as well as the coordination over tourism to turn Iran into a touristic pilgrimage destination for Arabs, not to mention the increased power of Muslims worldwide. Similarly, Gulf countries can help Iran to overcome several problems based on their diplomatic credibility.

At present, the most pressing issue is the concerted Gulf efforts with Iran to fight ISIS and other terrorist organizations.

However, all of that remains a mere dream because the core of Khomeini’s regime is based on pumping revolutionary ideologies under the pretext of a divine authority and the victory of the vulnerable on earth. These subjects are the cover used in the formation of militias among Arabs.

At present, the most pressing issue is the concerted Gulf efforts with Iran to fight ISIS and other terrorist organizations.

Mshari Al Thaydi

Setting the Saudi embassy in Iran on fire with the coverage of Khomeini's guards, was the straw that broke the camel's back; after this incident, Saudi Arabia has put an end to its ties with Iran; these relations have never been cut since Khomeini took power in 1979.

In his last press conference with his French counterpart, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said: “the problems began when Iran adopted a policy that supports terrorism (...) the kingdom has never taken any hostile action against Iran.”

In the meantime, the “Jamaran” Farsi website published an interview with Gholam-Ali Rajaei, former head of the analysis council of the Iranian regime under the late Akbar Hashimi Rafsanjani. In the interview, he accused the former Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to hinder the agreement with Saudi Arabia. According to Rajaei, Rafsanjani, during his presidency said: “I have returned from Saudi Arabia with good deals, however, Ahmadinejad disregarded them all.”

In fact, he said that Saudi Arabia has always been keen on searching for friends inside the Khomeini regime, like Rafsanjani and Khatami, but it has not been the same from the Iranian side. Iran has always taken advantage of these quiet periods to pounce again.

The whole issue is the missing confidence, so how can it be recovered? This is the big question addressed to the Iranian Republic if it really wants to establish good relations with the Gulf.

This article is also available in Arabic.
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Saudi journalist Mshari Al Thaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Al Thaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists.
 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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