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The statements of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, on Tuesday April 27, 2021, sparked widespread controversy in the political milieu, as his speech on his country’s position on Iran sparked a debate about the recent Saudi change compared to the position launched by Prince Muhammad bin Salman in 2017. Where he stressed confronting the Persian project in the region and appeared at that time determined to take the battle to the Iranian interior.
In what appeared to be a noticeable change in Riyadh’s accent, the Saudi Crown Prince said in his recent television interview: Iran is a neighboring country, and all we aspire to is to have a good and distinguished relationship with it. He added: We do not want Iran’s situation to be difficult, on the contrary, we want Iran to be a prosperous and growing country because we have interests in it, and in return, the Iranians have interests in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and therefore we aspire for the best relations between us to push the region towards growth and prosperity.
And before going into the reasons that led to the transformation of the Saudi position on Iran and the seriousness of this transformation, we have to go back in history a little to understand the nature of the things that prevailed and the circumstances that imposed on Saudi Arabia to follow this positive atmosphere with Tehran and the supporters of God in Yemen.
It is known that the Kingdom, since its establishment, has never come out of the American mantle, but during the era of former American Democratic President Barack Obama, Saudi-American relations witnessed a clear aversion, especially after the Saudi decision to enter the “Decisive Storm” war against Yemen, which Barack opposed. Obama, which means that the decision to war on Yemen was unilateral by Saudi Arabia, which was considered by the US administration to be a Saudi attempt to implicate America in that war under the slogan of confronting the Iranian expansionist plan in the region.
With the end of Obama’s term in the White House and the election of Donald Trump, the Republican, Saudi Arabia breathed a sigh of relief after removing Obama’s nightmare and the Trump administration’s response to Saudi Arabia’s request to provide logistical, military and intelligence support in its war on Yemen, in exchange for US arms deals in favor of Saudi Arabia estimated at billions of dollars in A time when the Zionist enemy asked Donald Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to impose harsh sanctions on Iran in exchange for the Saudi payment.
Trump said it to Saudi Arabia brazenly: Protecting you in exchange for your money, and Saudi Arabia believed that the continued American support (Trump) would definitely protect Saudi Arabia and would guarantee it to win the Yemen war and turn the balance in favor of Saudi Arabia.
However, magic turned against the magician after the Republican Trump left the White House to be replaced by Obama’s Democratic Vice President Joe Biden without Saudi Arabia being able to achieve any of its goals in Yemen after six years of continuous war in exchange for a rapid development in the capabilities of the Houthis. Where their missiles became threatening the Saudi rear.
To shed light on the reasons behind the change in the Saudi position on Iran, the supporters of God, and the Yemen war, we must note the following:
In the first step after entering the White House, Biden initiated the disclosure of the sword of the file of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder in the face of the Saudi crown prince, and in a second step no less important than the first in terms of the strategic goals of the Democratic administration, Biden announced that it would stop supplying Saudi Arabia with American weapons used in the war on Yemen. And from what Biden said: The war in Yemen is a futile war that has contributed to the greatest humanitarian tragedy in the region, and we must work to stop this devastating war in Yemen.
Saudi Arabia realized that a new pattern of democratic American engagement with it, in contrast to the Republican approach, began to impose itself, and that the post-Trump America will not be the same as before it.
However, Saudi Arabia tried to reject the new American reality, and as usual, it went too far in this rejection by its hidden openness to the Zionist enemy, taking several steps that translated by allowing Israeli planes to fly over Saudi Arabia’s airspace, and in a more expressive step of Saudi openness to the Israeli enemy, translated by its Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan, with no objection to Saudi Arabia. From normalization to the Zionist enemy, because its benefits to the region will be great, in a clear Saudi signal of approval of the deal of the century, even if it linked it to the progress of the peace process between the Palestinians and the Israelis.
However, Saudi Arabia was shocked, especially after the involvement of the advisor to the Saudi crown prince, Bassem Awad Allah, was exposed in the attempt to overthrow the King of Jordan, Abdullah II, who in turn considered the cruel knot in the face of the implementation of the deal of the century.
An important question was raised in the political milieu, centering on whether Saudi Arabia realizes the fact that the deal of the century has died, and that it is in the process of losing its cards in Yemen, Iran and even in the region, or is it hiding something in its bag.
A final card remains in Saudi Arabia’s quiver, which is setting obstacles and disrupting the democratic American scramble to conclude the deal to return to the Iranian nuclear deal. Saudi Arabia has entrusted the Israeli enemy with the task of obstructing the American return to the nuclear agreement.
The attempts of the Zionist enemy to launch sabotage operations at the Natanz reactor, assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists, and then start a war against Iranian ships at sea, disappointed, especially after the similar and even painful Iranian response to the Israeli enemy in several places and even within the Zionist entity.
The Israeli enemy sent a high-ranking security delegation to Washington and met with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in the presence of the head of the National Security Bureau in the deep state, in a final attempt to disrupt the American drive towards reviving the nuclear deal and lifting sanctions on Iran in a step that was considered a desperate attempt. .
Although the Israeli delegation had a meeting with US President Joe Biden, it resulted in a firm American position preventing the Zionist enemy and its allies in the region from carrying out any reckless action that would disrupt America’s strategic interests, the most important of which is the American insistence to return to the nuclear agreement and implement and lift Trump’s sanctions on Iran, even if gradually.
The Israelis, along with the Saudis, realized that the matter had been settled, and that what had been written had been written, so the Israeli speech shifted from public rejection to demanding physical compensation in exchange for the American return to the agreement with Iran.
Saudi Arabia lost its bet on the Zionist enemy as an alternative to its bet on the Americans. Saudi Arabia has no choice but to search for a safe runway that would enable it to carry out the forced landing.
It is too early to say: The region will witness major shifts and changes in options and stances, whether at the tactical or strategic level, and despite the Iranian welcome for the Saudi landing request, it is useful to remind that horses can be driven to the river, but horses cannot be forced to drink from the river’s water.
It remains to be said: The Saudi forced, safe and less expensive landing, which saves Saudi face, cannot be successfully completed until after the plane of the Saudi Crown Prince lands at Damascus International Airport and the announcement of Saudi Arabia giving up all its losing bets and returning to the strategic Arab depth and heart The vibrant Arabism of Syria and direct congratulations to President Bashar Al-Assad on his victory in the upcoming presidential elections.