The Cradle, October 20, 2022 — Last year, Tehran and Riyadh began direct talks in an attempt to improve their fragile relationship.
On 18 October, Iran assured that the leaders of its regional rival Saudi Arabia should stop relying on Israel, in an apparent reference to the growing connections between Israel and the Gulf Arab states, according to Tasnim news agency.
The top commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Hossein Salami said, “you are dependent on a collapsing Israel, and this will be the end of your era,” in what he called a “warning” to the Kingdom’s ruling al-Saud family.
However, according to The New Arab, on 17 October, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati said that “we are Saudi Arabia’s neighbors and we must coexist. The embassies of the two countries should be reopened to solve our problems in a better way”.
Following years of tensions between the regional rivals, the two have held five rounds of talks in Baghdad, which the foreign ministry described as “promising.”
“The delay in holding the next round of Iran-Saudi talks is due to efforts to take an important step forward in the next Baghdad meeting,” the spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry remarked.
Relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia broke down in 2016 after Iranian protesters stormed Riyadh’s embassy in Tehran following the execution of a Shia cleric in the kingdom.
On 16 June, talks were held between Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Kadhimi, Iranian President Sayyed Ebrahim Raisi, and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who met to discuss negotiations between Saudi Arabia and Tehran.
On the other hand, the Pentagon has been collaborating with Israel, Saudi Arabia, and other nations in West Asia over the past six months to create a network of unmanned drones with the goal of countering Iran across the Persian Gulf.
According to US navy officials that spoke with the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Washington expects to have 100 small surveillance drones operating “from the Suez Canal in Egypt to waters off the Iranian coast” by next summer.
On August 2022, US President Joe Biden traveled to Israel where he signed the so-called “Jerusalem Declaration,” which emphasized Washington’s unwavering support for Israel’s regional military and its ability to “defend itself alone.”
The declaration continued by saying that the US confirms its resolve to work with other partners to oppose what it described as “Iran’s aggression and destabilizing activities,” whether directly or via so-called “proxies” like Hezbollah, Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or Ansarallah.