By Latheef Farook
In one of the most dramatic developments in the chaotic Middle East political scene Saudi Arabia- ally of United States and Israel, and their sworn enemy, Iran, announced on Friday March 10 to restore diplomatic ties and reopen their missions within two months.
The deal was brokered by China seven years after relations were severed.
However suspicion and hatred between the two powerful neighbors were too deep and complicated .Therefore one needs to wait and see for the outcome.
Saudi Arabia is the land of Islam while Iran remains the head of Shiite sect. This difference has been there for centuries and it did not affect their relations as they were both allies of US.
The situation changed overnight following the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran which fiercely criticized US, Europe and Israel for supporting ousted Iranian dictator Shah Pahlavi known for widespread corruption, oppression and allowing US to plunder the country’s resources.
Israel and its US-European supporters will never allow the rise of Islam as a force as they remember during the creation of Israel in Palestine in 1948, it was the Muslim Brotherhood forces which virtually defeated Jewish forces who were saved by ousted Egyptian dictator King Farouk when he stopped the Brotherhood from fighting.
In the wake of Islamic revolution in Iran, US led west and Israel got Saudi Arabia to persuade Iraqi Dictator Saddam Hussein to invade Iran. This caused the eight year Iraq-Iran war which destroyed the two countries, killed more than a million soldiers at a cost of 800 billion dollars while US-Europe and Israel flourished in selling weapons .
Since then tension continued between Saudi led oil rich Gulf States backed by US led Europe and Israel, and Iran. Repeated US sanctions had crippling effect on Iran’s economy causing immense hardships to its people.
The hostility between Saudi and Iran made Saudi depend on US-Europe and Israel for its survival. So much so former US President Donald Trump once said that Saudi regime cannot last more than two weeks without US support.
In the process Saudi and Gulf Sheiks became integral part of US led western Israeli conspiracies and wars against the region. For example during the 2011 Arab Spring Egyptians overthrew president Hosni Mubarak. In the subsequent first ever free and fair presidential elections, held for the first time in 60 years , pro Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Morsy was elected.
There was alarm bells in the western capitals and Israel. Once again US led west and Israel got Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates to spend eleven billion dollars to create food and fuel shortage in Egypt to cause popular unrest. This led to the coup which ousted elected President Mohamed Morsy and installed in his place yet another tyrant Abdel Fattah El Sisi who turned this ancient country into an open prison.
Those who protested were slaughtered and that too inside mosques. Al Sisi was received with red carpet in the western capitals claiming to be championing human rights ,democracy and freedom.
Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates fought a proxy war with Iran in Yemen turning this poverty stricken country into a killing field and caused the worst ever humanitarian disaster.
Oppressed .brutalized, helpless and voiceless people in the region watched all these developments with great dismay. They have seen how US –Europe and Israel destroyed oil rich countries like Iraq, Libya and Syria killing millions and turning many millions who lived in peace and harmony into refugee camps to suffer in abject poverty.
They have also seen with great dismay the role played by Saudi Arabia and Gulf states in these destructions. This is the reason why many consider the region as once again a volcano about to erupt as it happened during Arab Spring.
However the signing of the peace treaty with Iran and Saudi Arabia has changed the entire Middle East. For example China entered Middle East in a big way and US is no more the sole player while Israel remains the biggest loser.
The pact also indicates that Saudi Arabia is to follow a foreign policy independent of the west. However to what extent US led European and Israeli war mongers will allow Saudi rulers, without popular base, to do so is yet to be seen.
Abdel Aziz Ibn Al Saud .a minor tribal ruler ,established his rue in Riyadh ,called Najd, in 1744. In the aftermath of the World War 1, British imperial power and the Zionist Jews who were plotting to establish Israel in Palestine, supplied weapons and huge money to Al Saud to attack Sheriff Hussein, ruler of Hejaz which included Makka and Madina who fiercely opposed the creation of Israel and defeated him.
Ibn Saud captured Jeddah in December 1925. This brought an end to over 1400 years of rule by the Prophet Muhammad’s descendants. The British officially recognized Ibn Saud as the new King of Hijaz in February 1926. Other European powers followed suit within weeks. The British Empire rebranded the new unified Wahhabi state in 1932 as the “Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”
Meanwhile Saudi ties with the United States go back to the Valentine’s Day in 1945 when US President Franklin D. Roosevelt met with Saudi King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud on an American cruiser, the USS Quincy, in the Suez Canal and the two agreed that Saudi ensure uninterrupted supply of oil in return for US guarantee on Saudi security.
Thus the US-Saudi ties have been too deep and very complicated for Saudi’s to follow an independent foreign policy. The question is whether US led war mongers will allow such an independent foreign policy.
Most Gulf countries welcoming the pact is yet another sign of tension easing in the region. However lot remains in the implementation of this agreement as both Saudi and Iran have their proxy wars in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon and beyond.