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Saudi ‘outreach towards thawing relations with Iran is a sign of desperation’: Scholar

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (R), and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Bin Salman in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (Photo by Anadolu Agency)

Saudi “outreach towards thawing relations with Iran is a sign of desperation” because Riyadh’s position has been weakened in the Middle East region following the departure of “the totally controlled Netanyahu-run Trump administration,” an American scholar and political commentator has said.

Dr. Kevin Barrett told Press TV in an interview on Friday that Saudis now believe that they cannot fully depend on their American Imperial sponsor, so they should improve ties with Iran.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has said that Riyadh is seeking to have “good relations” with Iran, adding, however, that the rapprochement is hindered by some differences.

Bin Salman said in an interview broadcast on state TV on Tuesday that the kingdom was not interested in perpetual hostility with Iran but any thawing of relations would be conditional.

"Iran is a neighboring state, we are seeking to have good relations with Iran, we have interests in Iran,” the Saudi crown prince said. “We are working with our partners in the region to overcome our differences with Iran especially with its support for militias and the development of its nuclear program."

Barrett, who is a journalist and radio host with a Ph.D. in Islamic and Arabic Studies, said, “The Saudi clown prince Muhammad Bin Salman is now, apparently, softening his tone towards Iran. He made a state broadcast on Tuesday, saying that he would like to mend fences with Iran, however, he said that it was up to Iran to make the kinds of moves that would make that possible. He said that this would be conditional on Iran's behavior. Of course, that's all rhetorical because the Saudi position vis a vis Iran, and his friends in the region has steadily weakened as the Houthis, the Ansurallah forces in Yemen, have gone from victory to victory.”

“And Saudi war on Yemen has completely fallen apart and now the Saudis are pretty much at war with their Emirati partners as well as with other forces, and the Ansurallah forces are actually hitting the Saudis in their own homeland, and Saudi Arabia is also having various other problems elsewhere. It's a bit on the outs with the US since the totally controlled Netanyahu-run Trump administration left,” he observed.

“And so I think what's happening here is that the Saudis are rethinking their position, and they understand that they can't really depend on their American Imperial sponsor, the way they used to. And so they're trying to sort of hedge their bets. They've already cozied up to Israel, unfortunately. And so this outreach towards thawing relations with Iran is of course a sign of desperation,” he explained.

“But perhaps it's not a bad move, given the circumstances. But there's also a sort of a regional shakeup going on in terms of alliances that this may be related to. And Israel has gone all out against Turkey by working closely and developing a military alliance with Greece. And I think that perhaps Israel which still has a lot of influence with Saudi Arabia would like to try to temper the Iranian position, supporting Palestinians, and also to try to prevent Iran from moving closer to Turkey,” he added.  

The analyst believes that Israelis are “trying to post Turkey as a rival of the Saudis and to tell the Saudis to cozy up a little bit with Iran and try to prevent Iran from working with Turkey to liberate Palestine. And that's precisely what Iran really should be doing. And so while the Iranian authorities are absolutely correct in saying that they're always open to reasonable discussions with Saudi Arabia, and coming to terms in ways to prevent chaos and bloodshed I think that the idea that Saudi Arabia, under prince Bin Salman and the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has got some commonly principal people at the top of its system, it is just not going to happen.”

“And indeed, I would like to see Iran making its alliances with Turkey, more than with Saudi Arabia, and focusing on the main issue which of course is to push the Zionists back to where they came from, and liberate Palestine, and help accelerate the departure of the American imperialists from the region. And so that's what will be happening in the future, regardless of what Saudi potentates and other Persian Gulf Arab despots care about which of course at the end of the day is only their own skins,” he concluded. 

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