Saudi Arabia’s embrace of Iran deals Israel two-pronged blow


The recent agreement to restore diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, seven years after ties between Riyadh and Tehran were severed, is bad news whichever way you look at it: it strengthens Iran, weakens the alliance in opposition to Tehran, expands China’s regional influence at the expense of the US, and essentially makes any chance of normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia that much more a distant possibility.

This is a highly significant achievement for the Iranians, as to some extent it loosens the regional noose that Israel has been aspiring to tighten around their necks. It also conveys a message that they should be able to continue with their policy of engaging in terrorism – on the domestic front against all protest and opposition and abroad via their proxies and by supplying drones to Russia’s war against Ukraine – without being made to pay any price for this. These are dangerous messages, that might significantly bolster the self-confidence of the ayatollah regime, especially with the current growing concern that Iran might decide to make a dash for the bomb in the near future.

“They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation,
That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.” Psalm 83:4

Saudi Arabia's embrace of Iran deals Israel two-pronged blow

The Saudis have been drawn into this agreement as a result of the ongoing crisis in their relations with Washington. What began in September 2019, in the absence of US defense against the Iranian drone attack on the oil refinery installations of Saudi Arabia’s national oil company Aramco, developed into a profound crisis of mistrust between the two states, which then led the Iranians to look for defensive support (or at least an insurance policy) in areas that until now had been extremely hostile to them.

Of course, this does not mean that Saudi Arabia and Iran will now be “BFF”, and the rivalry between the Sunna and the Shia will remain unchanged, but Riyadh can now significantly reduce the threat to it – at least in the foreseeable future – and consequently, it will be able to make secondary gains too, such as extending the truce in Yemen.

Another secondary winner here is China, which brokered the agreement, and will now be able to benefit from an extended foothold in the region, at the expense of the Americans. China’s interests here are mainly economic, but the growing struggle between Beijing and Washington will now be felt more intensely in the Middle East too. This is bad news for the moderates, mainly Israel, for whom Washington’s power in the region is a key component of their stability and security.

Israel’s interests have suffered a blow in two additional, immediate contexts: the first one – the chance to upgrade the relations with Saudi Arabia and possibly turn this into full normalization. Secondly – the intention of establishing a regional defensive alliance to serve as a counterweight against Tehran. Though in making this move, Saudi Arabia might not have actually opted to cross over to the Iranian side, it has moved further away from the Israeli-US side, and it may well try to stir up the situation between the sides and to maximize its gains on both fronts.

Read More @ Israel Hayom HERE

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