Significance of Resolving Saudi-Iran Conflict
By Zaheerul Hassan
History of strained relationship between two oil producing countries Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Iran is too old. The major causes of continuous deteriorating relationship are based on sectarianism, differences in ideology, variation in economic, political, military interests, controlling Gulf and unannounced desires of attaining regional domination.
Proxy war between Iran and KSA has spread all over the region from Syria to Yemen and Pakistan. Somehow, United States and Israel were remained the key players behind the said tension. For example United States preferred better relationship with Raza Shah Pelwi government over Saudi kingship till Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, coup. From then onwards Washington preferred better relationship with Saudi Arabia and other Khaleeji countries and Used to openly demand the rolling back of Iranian nuclear programme. Saudi Arab has also declared Iran as one of the most dangerous country for its security.
Recently, Iran has shown her frustration when Saudi Arabia announced the formation of 34 Islamic States Block in December 2015. Egypt, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Malaysia and some of African states are the members of the Islamic group.
In this regard, Pakistan has also supported the aims Islamic group. Apparently, the objectives of establishing of the group were to collectively fight against terrorism and Daesh. But somehow Iran took the emergence of this group against her political and economic interests in the region. She started opposing the formation of Islamic group However, leadership of Islamic group primarily dominated by Arab countries overruled the Iranian distrusts and refused to accommodate Tehran. Resultantly, anti-Islamic lobbies got an excellent chance of cashing the adverse relationship and promoted sectarianism in Islamic countries.
The trust deficit between two Islamic countries has further widened when Shia Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimrits along with 47 terrorists were beheaded in Saudi Arabia. In response, on 2 January 2016, Iranian extremist’s attacking Saudi Arabian embassy located at Tehran ultimately became the immediate cause of termination of diplomatic relations between Tehran and Riyadh.
Surprisingly, White House silence and showing cold shoulders to KSA during penurious hours was too much dubious. U.S. despite knowing fully well that Iran was going to conduct the test trial of Arrow-3 Medium Range Ballistic Missile System has accepted the buttoning up of her nuclear prorgramme and also removed the economic sanctions. Astonishingly, Israel has also not shown much concern over the launching of Missile by Iran. Therefore, change in American policies with anxiety has been viewed by Saudi Arabia and other gulf states.
As a result of changing US polices, cold war between Iran and KSA has engulfed the complete region. Terrorism instead of routing out has started fomenting globally because invisible hands provided protection to the militants. Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq are the countries undergoing terrible kind of militancy since globally notorious intelligence agencies like CIA, Mossad, RAW and Afghan National Security Agency is supporting terrorists’ organizations. Some analyst and security experts are connecting prevailing militancy wave in Pakistan with KSA and Iran conflict. In this connection one of Taliban group found involve in Charsadda University attack. It has been confessed in their radio conversation that let Pakistani ruling elite to divert their attentions for putting right their own house (Pakistan) so that their efforts of resolving KSA and Iran conflict could be distorted.
Anyhow, Pakistan presented herself as a mediator and took the responsibility of defusing the increasing tension between Iran and KSA. In this regard, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif along with senior high officials visited Saudi and Iranian capitals from 18 January to 19 January 2016. The visit was aiming to neutralize the tautness and force the two Islamic states to resolve the issue through peaceful negotiations. According to the reports, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif asked Iranian and Saudi governments to nominate some focal persons for future negotiations. He was hopeful for the success of his visit. Aftermath of Pakistani PM and COAS positive development has been noticed when on 6 January 2016. In this regards 100 culprits were arrested and the Islamic republic’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamene has condemned the attack on the embassy.
Initially, similar nature of gesture has also been shown by Saudi Arabia by stopping their negative statements over the issue. However, on 24 January 2016, according to Gulf News Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir has denied the existence of a Pakistani mediation between his country and Iran. Minister in response to a question ruled out any mediation with Iran. But he admitted that some e countries had offered to mediate and to convey thoughts and ideas between Riyadh and Tehran, he said, but added that
Indeed, Pakistani leadership during their visit to both the capital emphasized that issues need to be resolved bilaterally.
Nevertheless, any increase in prevailing tension may lead to regional conflict and can become one of the causes of splitting Islamic countries on the bases of sectarianism. Therefore, all Islamic countries should try to defuse the situation and move forward to defeat the conspiracy against Islam. Pakistan and Indonesia should take the responsibility of reconciliation between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Moreover, Iran should also be invited to become the member of 34 Islamic Group.
Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) should play its role in resolving issues between Islamic countries particular amongst Iran and Saudi Arabia since both have to work together in elimination of global terrorism. OIC should also call a conference of heads of the states for forcing the members to fight jointly against terrorism and the enemies of Islam.
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