Jun 2, 2021, 11:18 AM
Journalist ID: 1842
News Code: 84352398
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Effective factors in Saudi-Iran relations

Tehran, June 2, IRNA - Iran Newspaper has interviewed the last Iranian ambassador to Saudi Arabia who said that Riyadh and Tehran have never pursued a one-way avenue in their mutual relations.

Hossein Sadeghi told Iran Newspaper on Wednesday that the two countries' ties were not very close before the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, noting that despite the ups and down in mutual relations, even long-term tensions abate, because the geopolitics of both sides push them towards reconciliation.

The two sides' efforts to restart negotiations following years of severed relations show that there is a willingness to put the relationship back on track, he said.

Pointing to the importance of the US administration's policy towards West Asia and its impact on regional arrangements, he noted that the Biden administration continues the strategy of reducing focus on the region; so, if President Joe Biden wants to follow up the long-term strategy of withdrawing from the region, as a prerequisite, the United States needs to resolve regional disputes; therefore, Americans should try to make concessions on Yemen War, Syria's conflict and Saudi-Iran differences to pave the ground for their pull-out from the region.

According to the diplomat, Saudi Arabia has started normalization of ties with Iraq and Turkey, and it expressed readiness to hold talks with Iran; thus, all such developments should be considered as a set of strategies; however, it is not clear, how the Biden administration would be successful in this attempt and what would be other international players' response to that endeavor.

As to the revival of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Sadeghi said that Tehran and other regional capitals can find out that the return to the nuclear agreement will be helpful for enhancing security and peace in the region, adding that reaching the point needs confidence-building between Iran and Arab nations.

There is no doubt that the stances of the Saudi kingdom on the Islamic Republic, Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon has changed recently, he said.

The former envoy went on to say that Saudi-Iran ties severed three times, including one time before the victory of the Islamic Revolution and twice after the victory.

However, both sides need each other to solve mutual, regional, and international issues, he said, adding that the three factors that affect Riyadh-Tehran relations are the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), presidency of Joe Biden in the United States, and Saudi war on Yemen.

Saudi Arabia has declared that it wants to alter its policy towards Iran; so, Tehran should take the opportunity and both sides are expected to identify sources of differences to resolve them, the diplomat added.

If Saudi Arabia and Iran discuss common interests, they may be able to repair their bilateral ties, he said, noting that six decades of relationship shows that not only can both sides develop ties, but they can also initiate strategic cooperation.

Sadeghi opines that not only Riyadh and Tehran but also other regional states need to create new order, which can secure interests of all sides.

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