Need for strategic patience toward Saudi Arabia

A reformist member of parliament said the government should maintain “strategic patience” with the Saudi kingdom, which has adopted an aggressive policy toward Iran under the new ruler, King Salman.

The lawmaker’s words came after the recent statement by a senior Saudi prince and former intelligence chief, Turki al-Faisal, that he supports the toppling of Iranian government. It followed a long series of anti-Iran moves by Saudis and months after they broke ties with the Iranian neighbor.

Jalal Mirzaei also told ICANA on Monday that Saudis’ “tactless” measures against Iran benefit the Israeli regime and the US, which Tehran describes as sworn enemies of the Muslim world.

“Zionists and Americans plan to use Saudis to deliver major blows to the Muslim world,” he said.

Mirzaei said Iran should show well-thought-out reactions to provocative Saudi moves.

“We should exercise restraint and strategic patience to pass through this stage at a low cost. Our positions regarding Saudi Arabia should be considered, waiting for a chance [to begin] interaction,” he said. Faisal, in an address to a rally held by the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization, a terrorist group that has sought the overthrow of the Iranian government since 1981, said that “your legitimate struggle against the (Iranian) regime will achieve its goal, sooner or later”.

“I, too, want the fall of the regime,” he added in Paris on Saturday. MKO has carried out numerous terrorist attacks against Iranian civilians and government officials over the past three decades. Out of the nearly 17,000 Iranians killed in terrorist attacks since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, about 12,000 have fallen victim to MKO’s acts of terror.

The group also assisted former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in the eight-year war he imposed on Iran in the 1980s, which left hundreds of thousands dead and injured.

The US and the European Union had the group in their lists of terrorist organizations for decades, but they removed it a few years ago.

Positive Performance

Mirzaei touched on domestic criticism of the government’s response to the hostile measures by Saudi Arabia, saying he backs President Hassan Rouhani’s policy toward Riyadh.

“We should not mistake prudence with diplomatic inaction and negligence,” he said.

“Iran’s foreign policy apparatus has done a good job on Saudi Arabia and I disagree with anti-government criticism in this regard.”

In recent months, some media outlets and experts have contended that the government’s response has been weak and inadequate, emboldening Saudi officials to continue their attacks on Iran without paying any cost.

By Financial Tribune