Aug 26, 2019, 12:43 AM
Journalist ID: 2382
News Code: 83451054
5 Persons
Arab’s desire for peaceful engagement with Iran

Tehran, Aug 25, IRNA - Recent developments in the Middle East and the stances taken by Arab governments, to many analysts, indicate a tendency of these states to détente with Tehran.

In recent weeks, following a series of developments in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf, there are signs of a possible move by Iran and the Arab states towards détente. In this regard, the UAE has recently made efforts to resolve disputes and engage with Tehran. Saudi Arabia has also sent positive signals for talks with Iran.

Why the desire to engage with Iran

According to Al-Hurra website, the high winds that began to blow over the waters of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz in recent weeks did not prevent friendly messages from spreading between the Persian Gulf littoral states. The UAE was pioneering in this regard and remained silent against the attack on oil tankers in the port of Fujairah and did not accuse Iran of doing so. Tehran described the move as a sign of the UAE's goodwill and its desire to stay away from tensions. The United Arab Emirates also urged Moscow to work to contain tensions in the Persian Gulf by sending its foreign minister to Russia.

In addition, Abu Dhabi announced that it would withdraw its troops from Yemen. This represents a move towards a peace strategy rather than a military option in Yemen. On the economic front, reports also show that Iran and the UAE share a tendency to facilitate the transfer of money through banks and foreign exchange companies. In these circumstances, there is no doubt that Saudi Arabia is facing concerns. As a result of the UAE's withdrawal from Yemen and Saudi Arabia's loneliness in Yemen, Riyadh has shown good faith in relations with Iran by unconditionally releasing the Iranian ship and welcoming Iranian pilgrims with bunch of flowers.

Although the content of the Saudi message is not yet clear, Iranian officials have stated Saudi Arabia's willingness to engage with Iran, and Iranian officials have stressed their readiness to engage with the Saudis, as well as Saudi Arabia's “Abdullah al-Mouallimi” remarks on the Saudi desire concerning detente with Iran indicates that new winds in the Persian Gulf region are blowing in favor of Iran's relations with Arab countries.

Issues such as the defeat of the alliance of states attacking Yemen, the conversion of Ansarullah of Yemen into a threat to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the concern of Arab countries on change of their cities and establishments into battlefields, the concern of American allies to be abandoned by the US in any tension and Trump's insistence on negotiating with Iran, the US failure to form a coalition against Iran, has prompted regional nations to work to reduce tensions.

Abeer Alqaid, a professor of political science at the University of Washington, told Egypt's “Al-Arabi 21” that Iran is trying to restore its ties with the Persian Gulf’s Arab states because of its geographical and historical links. Zarif's recent trip to Kuwait was aimed at boosting military, security, trade cooperation and controlling tensions in the region. Iran's policy relies on peace with Arab countries. Iran has succeeded in defusing US’ simmering tension by establishing channels of dialogue with Europe and reducing tensions with the littorals states of the Persian Gulf.

As Alqaid highlighted, this is demonstrated in the conclusion of an agreement with the UAE aimed at cooperating on maritime security in the Strait of Hormuz. The Saudi and the UAE gambling on the US sanctions on Iran has failed. Any closeness of Iran with the Arab countries will put an end to tensions. Any reconciliation between Iran and the Arab states is a strategic disaster for the United States, which seeks blackmail from the Arab states under the pretext of Iranian threats. Despite Iran's increasing influence in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, the Arab states are not willing to have tension with Iran, and the signing of a non-aggression pact is in the interests of the Arab states.

Qatar, Kuwait and Oman appear to have long embraced Iran's role as a key player in the region, according to Qatar's Al Jazeera news channel. Qatar used its relations with Iran during the siege by the Arab countries and imported essential goods from Iran. Iran and Qatar also have gas resources in South Pars. As a result, Doha does not see its interests in the tension between the United States and Iran. This is because it affects Qatar’s gas production and closure of the Strait of Hormuz and Qatar’s gas exports. Oman is also concerned about Saudi Arabia's power in the region. Already, it has threatened Saudi Arabia with its withdrawal from the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC). It is also dissatisfied with the Saudi-UAE war in Yemen and sees the future of the war as dangerous for itself. Despite these concerns and given the geographical issues and the presence of Iran and Oman on both sides of the strategic strait of Hormuz, Muscat has always tried to have warm relations with Iran. Kuwait also has little confidence in Saudi Arabia's leadership of the PGCC.

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