Saudi Arabia considering improvement of relations with Iran

Radio Farda – Saudi Arabia may be mulling the idea of improving in relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran and other regional players including Qatar.

The move is reportedly an outcome of Riyadh’s doubts about the extent and nature of backing it can expect from Washington, wrote the Wall Street Journal journalists Benoit Faucon and Summer Sa’id on Friday December 13.

The initiative followed concerns about escalating tensions between Tehran and Riyadh after an attack on Saudi oil installations in September for which Iran was blamed.

Saudi, European and U.S. officials say Tehran and Riyadh have been exchanging messages during recent months through intermediaries in Oman, Kuwait and Pakistan.

Iran’s ambassador to Paris, Bahram Ghassemi has also acknowledged that Iran has forwards a peace plan that includes a mutual pledge of non-aggression and cooperation.

Recent widespread protests in Iran might also be a factor to push Iran to ease tensions, to improve its economic conditions.

Relations between the two neighbors have been tense after the war in Yemen where they supported opposing side in the country’s conflicts. The tensions escalated following attacks on shipping in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman last summer.

Meanwhile, there are signs about improving ties between Saudi Arabia and its neighbour Qatar in recent weeks following a high profile Qatari presence at a key regional meeting in Saudi Arabia last week.

Observers say Washington’s reluctance in getting actively involved in regional conflicts in the Persian Gulf may have played a part in Riyadh’s decision to mend fences with Iran and other regional players.

Tehran, which is badly hit by the United States’ maximum pressure policy, has welcomed the idea of détente, say regional observers.