14 Oct. 2021 16:17
Saudi Arabia and Iran have been holding talks since April on how to end the conflict in Yemen. The renewal of relations between the two countries is a “heavy blow” for Israel, commented the Israeli newspaper “Haaretz”.
Saudi Arabia and Iran have been holding secret talks since April on how to end the conflict in Yemen, in which a coalition led by the Saudis has been fighting the Iran-backed Houthi movement since March 2015. It is now an open secret that the Saudis are in the process of normalizing their relations with Iran.
After a lengthy silence, Iran first confirmed media reports of direct talks with regional rival Saudi Arabia in early October. “De-escalating tensions between the two Muslim countries on the Persian Gulf is in the interests of both nations and the region,” said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Said Chatibsadeh.
Riyadh and Tehran are said to have already reached a number of agreements. There are reports that consulates will be reopened in the two countries soon. A full normalization agreement is expected within a few weeks.
During his presidential campaign, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said his foreign policy would focus on improving Iran’s relations with its neighbors, particularly Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz said in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York last month that Riyadh is striving for good relations with Iran.
If the negotiations between the Saudi royal family and the Islamic Republic of Iran lead to an agreement and normalization, this step will be “the last chapter of the anti-Iranian coalition”. Israel put a lot of hope in this coalition, in which the country considered itself an unofficial member, commented Haaretz. “The bubble of the Arab anti-Iranian coalition, which former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has filled with hot air, is about to burst.” The newspaper continues:
“The renewal of close ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia is apparently a severe blow to Israel.”
The balance of power is changing in the Middle East. While the US is withdrawing more and more from the region after the Afghanistan disaster, regional powers are filling the void.
Saudi experts say the kingdom has realized it can no longer depend on the US and should diversify its strategic relationships and reposition itself in the Middle East. The Saudis have recently seen a number of foreign policy failures: the country failed to influence the conflict in Syria, while it failed in the Yemen war despite its military superiority. Trump’s refusal to help Riyadh after the Iranian attack on its oil facilities ultimately led the Saudis to consider normalizing relations with the predominantly Shiite Iran.
more on the subject – Iran’s President Raisi: US hegemony failed miserably