In recent months, and in fact since the change of government in the US with the entry of President Biden into the White House, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi have been pursuing a new strategy regarding foreign relations with Iran and the resumption of diplomatic contacts.
At first, it was the Saudis who held a series of secret meetings in Baghdad with senior Iranian officials, in which the Saudi ambassador to Iraq took part. Later, the emirates also opened a dialogue with the Iranians, and even recently appointed former foreign minister, senior diplomat Anwar Garagash, to promote dialogue with Tehran.
Gargash, who met with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister and head of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program Ali Bagri, stated at the end of the meeting with the Iranian official who visited Abu Dhabi that “the meeting is intended to stabilize relations and reduce tensions with Iran.” The senior emirate diplomat added that a delegation of senior emirates from the Emirates will soon pay a reciprocal visit to the Iranian capital.
Also aimed at Damascus
The Emirates did not content themselves with resuming dialogue with Tehran. After a telephone conversation between Crown Prince Muhammad bin Zayed and dictator Bashar Assad, the emirate foreign minister was sent to Damascus for a well-publicized meeting with the Syrian president. All this, despite the strong protests from Washington that the UAE may face severe sanctions due to the American “Caesar’s Law”, which punishes bodies that conduct economic relations with Syria.
The Emirates claimed that the approach to Damascus was intended to keep the recovering Syrian regime away from the arms of the Iranian octopus. In addition, Abu Dhabi stressed that they are interested in good relations with all the countries in the region, and that as part of the UAE’s zero-conflict policy, Crown Prince Ben Zayed paid a rare visit to Turkey this week, where he met with Turkish President Erdogan and signed a series of trade agreements. , Economic and diplomatic.
But now senior officials in both Abu Dhabi and Riyadh are clarifying the main reason for the shift in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates’ position towards Tehran and the zero-confrontation strategy. The anti-Iranian regional coalition formed during Trump’s tenure – which culminated in the signing of the Abrahamic Accords and included Israel, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia – has disintegrated and no longer exists in practice. “It is true that joint military training and exercises have recently taken place that are also intended to convey a clear message to Tehran,” a senior Abu Dhabi source told Israel Today, “but the coalition formed with Trump and his administration, “Fears that the extremist ayatollahs’ regime will possess nuclear weapons have evaporated.”
“Biden does not respect”
According to senior officials in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh, what has brought about a shift in diplomatic relations with Iran is Biden’s agenda regarding the Middle East and the issue of the Iranian threat also in terms of the countries of the region. “We are still studying the nature of relations with the new government in Israel and its leaders. But Israel, despite the changes in government, has met all its obligations to us.”, A senior Abu Dhabi source told Israel Today.
The source added that “the problem is Biden and his government, who have done everything to dissolve Trump’s achievements with regard to normalization with Israel and to drive a wedge in the regional defense alliance that is being formed between the countries in the region in the face of the Iranian threat.” , As well as in Washington’s opposition and vetoing the sale of weapons we need. “We were not surprised by Saudi Arabia’s attempt to promote a positive dialogue with Tehran in light of the disrespectful treatment of Biden and his government towards the Saudi monarchy and the kingdom in general.”
Eyes to Sudan
The frightened U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, the emirate says, did not contribute to a sense of security among U.S. allies in the Middle East. Increased concern among the signatories to the Abrahamic Accords – including Sudan – that in the moment of truth the American president and his administration will not provide them with the necessary support and backing.
“The Biden administration is making all the possible mistakes that could push Sudan into political instability, and even into Khartoum’s withdrawal from the Abrahamic Accords,” the senior official says. “General al-Burhan worked to eliminate all political elements in the country, who opposed the military council and collaborated with extremist Islamic elements who wanted to seize power. The leader of this organization was Prime Minister Abdullah Hamduk and extremist political figures such as Ba’ath party members and Islamic political activists.
“Instead of the Americans supporting al-Burhan’s moves to form a liberal government, they forced him to release Hamduk from detention and warned him that if he did not allow him to form a government, Washington would impose severe sanctions on Sudan. Al-Burhan had no choice but to accept the American dictate.
“If Sudan finds itself again in a coup in which the hand of jihadist organizations and extremist Islam will prevail, no one will be surprised that they will throw in the dustbin of history the normalization agreement with Israel.”
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