Wednesday, 13 January, 2016

Saudis ambitious policies no longer works


By: A.R.Ghofrani, Senior International Analyst      

After recent bloody events in Saudi Arabia and severing diplomatic relations with Iran by Riyadh, there have been many comments and readings of the very reasons and motivations of Saudis’ irrational and immature acts. This author has no intention of repetition of those points of views in this short paper. However, what do Saudis have in mind needs to be further focused and elaborated.

Saudi Arabia, undoubtedly, is one the important countries in this part of the world and it certainly does have an undeniable critical and pivotal role in the developments in this region. It houses the holy shrines, the principal point for the unanimity of the whole Muslim countries of the world, which naturally is quite significant. Moreover it has the world greatest petroleum reservoirs, providing it with colossal incomes that undoubtedly make it geoeconomically an influential power. Notwithstanding these factors that principally should confer it an exalted and powerful status, the realities prove that it has been the other way around. Because the irrational and adventurous policies undertaken by the governments in Riyadh, particularly through the past decade, have not helped Saudis to uphold its position, but, adversely, waned her status and power. There are some countries, among them Saudi Arabia, who, erroneously, perceive that, with physical power (political or military) can daringly achieve their ambitious goals. It is not clear as to why those countries as well as Saudis do not read the records of the past events to find out that there had been more powerful leaders in this region and other parts of the world who could not achieve their ambitious goals, and eventually did weaken and fall because of their unwise and unrealistic perceptions and policies. There is even no need reviewing the history to understand this, because the events through the past couple of decades are in anybody’s memory, as well as in Saudi leaders’ mind. Just a brief overview of the remarks and viewpoints made by analysts, politicians and scholars of the world clearly divulge that Saudis have been, directly or implicitly, involved in most crises, tensions, wars and bloodshed and sometimes quite active in these events. Formation of the mediaeval and murderous ISIS, invasion of Yemen, interfering in other countries affairs of the region and …. are in the records of Saudis’ activities.

One more issue is the Saudis’ disregard of the existing political and international realities. In any political equation, undoubtedly, there are undeniable variables that cannot be ignored. How on earth in a critical area such as Middle East as well as in a sensitive region of the Persian Gulf, a powerful and influential country such as Iran can be overlooked or her strength is underestimated, whereas it has the longest coastlines in the Persian Gulf, and being the most Muslim populated country with high human and physical capabilities? After nearly four decades, the great powers have realized that they cannot but consider this powerful country in their calculations and so they have to interact with this powerful actor in the region. However having focused on Iran as a powerful and important country that has tremendous influence on Middle East and Persian Gulf developments, is no reason that either great powers or even Iran do overlook other countries, no matter of their powers and stage of  development. For, in present international conditions, even the role of the smallest country cannot be ignored. Pursuing its realistic policy Iran is fully aware of this fact and for this, she has been calling for close relationship and cooperation with all countries, albeit except a few, and particularly with Muslim nations. In fact it is Iran’s deep conviction that this policy serves the peace and stability and eventually the progress and growth of all countries of the region. It did take years that Iran could prove this to great powers. Regrettably, it sounds Saudis leaders are far from the realities and have not fully understood the new international circumstances. The present Saudi leaders do not have either the required experiences or a deep comprehension of world circumstances. This can be dangerous for them, because in short term they may achieve their limited ambitious goal, however, this will not serve their interests in long span. It may even endanger their very existence.

At this point, if Saudi leaders reassess their policies, they may stop destructive repercussions for themselves and other countries in the region. Now it is for them to contemplate, more realistically, on the existing circumstances and taking wise and rational approach, refraining from adventurous and ambitious policies. Shouldn’t they do it today, it may be too late tomorrow

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