Washington seeks Middle East stability in fostering the Saudis-Israelis ties | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

27 May, Monday

Washington seeks Middle East stability in fostering the Saudis-Israelis ties

Interviews A- A A+

Despite negative reactions in Saudi Arabia to tie up with Israel, Washington and Israel are more excited to pull Saudi-led states to themselves. The worsened relation with Iran is urging the US to match up two contradicting countries for gaining more leverage in the Middle East with hope of ensuring peace and security. By no chance, the Middle East conference, which ended simultaneously on the 14th of February with another conference dedicated to establishing peace and security in the Middle East attended by Russia – Turkey and Iran. This is interesting the opponents meet on the same days for the same purpose, but yet no peace between peace dealing states. Political Expert at the Centre for International Relations, Bruno Surdel illuminated the dark side of this issue in his interview to Eurasia Diary.   



 As America has seduced the Arab countries against Iran, what will be Iran’s counterattack in the region?

Iran’s options are rather limited. With its crumbling economy, galloping inflation, declining exports of oil and a growing dissent inside the country Tehran will have much less clout. It will be even more dependent on China and Russia. It doesn’t mean however that Iran will abandon its interests. Against all odds it’s essential for the country to maintain the network of allegiances and influence it has built thanks to the American invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the following chaos and wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. This is – in the regime’s view – a unique opportunity of building its informal empire and balance Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf states. The issue is, however, how long Iranian citizens – who are suffering the economic hardships - will tolerate squandering their money for such adventures abroad. On the other hand, there is some pride of what Iran has achieved as regards its sphere of influence in the region. They reached Mediterranean! Their influence, however, is not exclusive in Syria and depends much on Russia’s will. And – as everybody knows – Moscow’s regional interests differ significantly from Tehran’s. This is an observation one can make looking at Israel – Russia ties.


Given the fact that Iran is a common enemy for both of Israel and Saudi Arabia, what is the chance of establishing official diplomatic relations between them?

The chances are minimal at the moment. Public opinion in Arab countries – including the Saudis – is strongly opposed to that. Much depends however on the resolution of Israeli – Palestinian conflict. This is a major bone of contention which must be finally seriously addressed to improve the ties between the Arabs and Israel. Now we are waiting for details of Jared Kushner which is to be announced after April snap elections to the Knesset. The expectations are not high taking into account the leaks about specific security guarantees for Israel in the future Palestinian state. But without them Washington is not ready to recognize Palestine. On the other hand what I expect is further tacit cooperation of Arabs with the Israelis and a more dynamic process of normalization. I mean Israel ties with Bahrain and Oman.


Is America the country that manipulates the Arab-Israel relations? How would you estimate this?

There is an unbreakable bond between the Americans and the Israelis, no doubt about it. On the other hand, USA is fed up with the never ending instability in the Middle East. Washington would prefer to move its military assets elsewhere or home. But first, Washington needs to address the issues of Iran and the Israeli – Palestinian conflict.  When it comes to the Arab – Israeli relations, the White House is committed to do much in order to improve their ties, to normalize the situation. The Trump administration is determined to do all these things but in a way which is very divisive – also in Europe – and may bring even bigger cataclysms to the region.


Iran and Russia have been close allies since centuries in the region. Throughout the conference the reactions from Kremlin would be more interesting to hear from your personal view.

The Warsaw conference coincided with the Russia – Turkey – Iran summit in Sochi aimed at the Syrian settlement. Iran is a critical partner for Moscow, taking into account the geopolitics and energy issues. But for Iran, its friendship with the Kremlin is indispensable in the current international situation and the harsh sanctions imposed by Washington on Tehran. On the other hand, their interests do not converge, and both sides know that. The Russians could not participate in the Warsaw summit for several reasons. First, because of its relationship with Tehran. Second, because it was held in Poland and it was just a part of Mike Pompeo’s tour into Visegrad countries: Hungary, Slovakia and Poland. The American secretary of state made it clear that his target was to the same extent Tehran, Moscow and – Beijing. Third, the Kremlin is opposed to the American way of the resolution of the Israeli – Palestinian conflict. It’s remarkable that the Palestinians held their internal gathering in Moscow on the very same day as the conference in Poland – and they condemned it.

As for the Warsaw conference itself, Russian media (Kommersant for example) summarized it that now Poland “consolidated its status as a key member of the “pro-American” party within the EU”. Which is basically true. Poland, however, doesn’t have other options given its strained and complex ties with Moscow. On the other hand, such a situation deepens also on tensions between Warsaw and Brussels, and main European powers. It’s a huge challenge for Polish diplomacy to fix all these issues now.


Interview by Elnur Mammadli

Report a mistake by marking it and pressing Ctrl+Enter

EurasiaDiary © Must be hyperlinked when used.

Follow us:
Twitter: @Eurasia_Eng
Facebook: EurasiaEng