Tehran-Riyadh cooperation, a real possibility

Tehran, July 10, IRNA – A big chunk of Saudi politicians does not believe in al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. This provides an opportunity for Iran to hold talks with the influential group backed by the Saudi king, a morning daily wrote.
The two sides, if the theory is right, can resolve part of [regional] issues without the US, Iran Daily said in its Opinion column Thursday.

Two opposing parties are seen under Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz – one seeking amendment of Wahhabism and the other practicing its extremist views. The extremist side itself has two parts: Pro-government party that finds it an Islamic administration and anti-government jihadists emerged three decades ago and subtly diverted by Riyadh to Afghanistan.

The Saudi government, however, manipulates the jihadists, if necessary, for safeguarding its interests in the Arab world. Nonetheless, Wahhabi reformists backed by Abdullah and those recognizing the Saudi government as legitimate have always been in a serious and long-standing dispute. What is regularly written and done against Shias results from the activities of Wahhabi extremists and jihadists.

The Saudi government, intellectuals and officials do not support extremists although Riyadh, due to their influence, is on their side from time to time. King Abdullah’s similar stance with some Shia figures including Sheikh Hassan proves it right.

What is done on the ground by al-Qaeda and its offshoot ISIL is not approved by the Saudi government in principle. The country’s laws recently passed to prevent people from joining the extremist groups and recent explosions in the kingdom are the striking examples of the claim.

Moreover, the Saudi government approves of neither al-Qaeda’s claims to have a government nor their Takfiri backgrounds and terrorist acts in so-called Islamic states. But like some Persian Gulf littoral states, they have apparently reached a clandestine agreement in a bid to prevent terrorist operations on the Saudi soil.

Although al-Qaeda has arrayed against ISIL, it is still against the Saudi administration.

Undoubtedly, ISIL is the most extremist jihadist group that brands all Islamic states as pagan for adopting modern rules. Naturally, it does not regard incumbent Saudi government Islamic. Saudi Arabia now feels the heat as suicide bombers have recently carried out operations there. The facts show that the time is ripe for the Islamic Republic to resume negotiations with the Saudi government to explore all avenues for settling the issue.

It is crystal clear Riyadh will not involve in case Shia-Sunni disputes prevail the talks. But, if the two countries only discuss mutual interest, it is a real possibility to resolve the regional issues without Washington.

The gap between Iran, Saudi Arabia and regional countries will widen and prepare the ground for the US interference if Riyadh is again accused of backing the ISIL [terrorists].



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