Tehran, Riyadh’s steps to de-escalate tensions

MNA – Past tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia in recent days have been replaced by positive signals for engagement and negotiation; the signs are evident in the speeches and statements of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Saudi Arabia’s officials.

According to a report by IRNA, After years of tension and disagreement in various fields between Iran and Riyadh, there are now positive and promising signs from the authorities of two sides.

Rejection of war with Iran by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and emphasis on the effectiveness of diplomatic relations with Iran indicates a clear shift in the position of Saudi leaders.

The readiness of some regional actors such as Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia also shows that they hope to find a peaceful resolution of the Tehran-Riyadh disputes.

In addition, Iranian Government Spokesman Ali Rabiei recently revealed Saudi Arabia’s message to Tehran, which Saudi Arabia had their own interpretation for their domestic public opinion and foreign allies.

For instance, Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir wrote oh his twitter that what Iranian Government Spokesman said was not accurate about the message of Saudi Arabia to Iranians. What happened is that some countries were trying to reduce the tension; we also told them that Saudi Arabia was constantly trying to create security and stability in the region.

The Islamic Republic of Iran, which has always sought to improve its relations with neighboring and regional countries, such as Saudi Arabia, continues to emphasize its approach in the current situation.

In this regard, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told Turkey’s TRT World that Iran has always been ready to negotiate on all issues with Saudi Arabia. It is Iran’s neighbor. There is no choice but to talk to each other. Negotiation with Saudi Arabia can be direct or through mediation. Iran never rejects mediation.

Iran’s peace plan, named Hormuz Peace Endeavor (HOPE), proposed by President Hassan Rouhani at the annual meeting of the UN General Assembly this year in early September, showed the importance of endogenous security to achieve peace in the region.

Addressing the UN General Assembly session, Rouhani described ensuring security, peace, stability, and progress in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz as Iran’s historical responsibility and invited all countries that are affected by the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz developments to join the Hormuz Peace Endeavour (HOPE) initiative.

The Initiative is based on the fact that all regional states are duty-bound to ensure peace, stability, and prosperity in the region. They along with the global community have common interests in maintaining freedom of navigation and transfer of energy. HOPE is designed to include all countries of the region and aims to expand cooperation beyond regional security.

The Initiative promotes solidarity, mutual understanding and peaceful and friendly relations and cooperation among regional states as well as boosting collaboration in uprooting terrorism, extremism, and sectarian tensions and making sure about energy security, freedom of shipping and free flow of oil are among the objectives of the initiative.

Rouhani’s Initiative came days after Yemen’s missile strikes on Saudi Aramco facilities inflicting heavy cost on the Saudis. In this regard, some of Iran’s enemies sought to exert pressure on Iran by taking advantage of this incident and claiming that Tehran was responsible for the attack.

Nearly a month after the Aramco attacks, US President Donald Trump is still seeking to take the most advantage of the attack for his multi-purpose goals, such as isolating and pressuring Iran, increasing disparities in the region, especially between countries of the Persian Gulf and the Oman Sea, sending American weapons to these countries, justifying military presence and intervention in the region, and so on.

The US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said on Friday 19 October that US has approved the deployment of 3,000 additional troops and military hardware to Saudi Arabia, boosting the country’s defense capability after attacks on its oil installations. He authorized the deployment of two more Patriot missile batteries, one THAAD ballistic missile interception system, two fighter squadrons, and one air expeditionary wing, according to Pentagon statement.

Observers believe that the sale of military equipment and weapons, along with the significant US military presence in Saudi Arabia, will be used to militarize the region and bring the money of selling of the Saudi Arabian oil products to the United States. The danger that has even caught the attention of congressmen, who have repeatedly protested the effects of Trump’s greed for weapons sales and stood in front of the president, but have so far failed to succeed.