IRNA – A former senior Iranian diplomat believes that the election of Donald Trump as the US president paved the way for Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the US to form an anti-Iran alliance.
In an interview with alef.ir, Seyed Hossein Mousavian, who served as an Iranian nuclear negotiator and the Islamic Republic’s ambassador to Germany, expounded on the purposes of the alliance.
Mousavian, who is a Middle East security and nuclear policy specialist at Princeton University, also shared his views on regional conflicts and the impacts of a likely decision by Trump to walk out of the Iran nuclear deal.
The following are excerpts from the interview:
Question: In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman warned of a “potential war” with Iran within the next 10 to 15 years and called on the international community to put more political and economic pressure on Tehran in order to avoid “direct military confrontation”. What did he exactly mean by making these remarks?
Answer: When Donald Trump assumed office, I warned that the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia will form an alliance to counter Iran. I said that Tel Aviv would be in charge of planning, Riyadh would be in charge of financing and Washington would exert pressure on Iran to achieve the goals of the tripartite alliance.
Presently, they have not only established the alliance but have also initiated a broad anti-Iran smear campaign. One of the strategies drawn up by Israel is aimed at spreading Iranophobia in the world. Saudi Arabia and the US will contribute to it.
In fact, the trio seeks to block economic and political cooperation between Iran and the international community, isolate the Islamic Republic and undermine its domestic economy. These conspiracies, according to their theory, would create conditions in Iran like those in Afghanistan and Libya. Bin Salman’s warning about a war between the two Persian Gulf countries is based on such a theory.
In other words, the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel are pursuing an anti-Iran psychological war, as part of which they try to sow seeds of despair and drive away foreign investors from Iran.
Q: Presently, Iran and Saudi Arabia are at odds over the conflict in Yemen and Syria. Why don’t they sit for talks to settle their differences?
A: Israel plays a major role in undermining relations between Iran and the Arab world. Tel Aviv is managing Riyadh’s anti-Tehran policies. Mohammed bin Salman has denounced resistance groups in the region and tacitly recognized Israel.
He has also waged an anti-Iran propaganda. These are rooted in clandestine agreements between the Kingdom and the Israeli regime.
In fact, Israel is not only provoking hostility between Iran and the US but it is also fanning the flames of a dispute between Tehran and Riyadh. This is a major obstacle to patching up bilateral ties.
Q: Earlier this month, Trump said that Saudi Arabia might have to pay if it wants continuing US presence in Syria. To many, this demand is aimed at milking the Saudis. What’s your take?
A:In the first week of Trump’s presidency, I said that he intends to inject some two trillion dollars into the US economy from the wealth of the Persian Gulf littoral states, especially Saudi Arabia. The Republican billionaire is vigorously pursuing this policy. Trump wants to get huge amounts of money by either selling weapons to Saudi Arabia or pushing the Kingdom to pay the cost of US military presence in the region.
Q: The US president has threatened to quit the Iran nuclear deal. How would such a decision impact regional developments?
A: American experts believe that Trump would withdraw the US from the Iran nuclear deal by the May 12 deadline. If he makes such a decision, Iran’s reaction would play a pivotal role in impacting regional developments. Israel and Saudi Arabia seek to prepare the ground for dealing a severe blow to Iran if Trump quits the agreement. Hence, Tehran should adopt prudent policies to counter such threats. Iran should exploit the potentials of the nuclear deal in international and regional levels to foil the plots of ill-wishers.