Iran-Saudi deal raises hopes of greater cooperation in Gulf countries

Iran-Saudi deal raises hopes of greater cooperation in Gulf countries

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The renewed Iran-Saudi ties have given Tehran hope for closer ties with its Arab neighbors, the two of which have normalized relations with Iran’s sworn enemy, Israel, in agreements known as the Abraham Accords.

For Iran, rapprochement with Saudi Arabia represents the “best bulwark” against the Abraham Accords in 2020 between Israel and Arab countries, including the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in the Gulf.

“Tensions with Saudi Arabia allow Iran to avoid forming a united regional front at a time of rising tensions with the United States and Israel,” said Ali Waez of the Belgium-based war monitor International Crisis Group.

A thaw in ties could include Bahrain, which followed Saudi’s lead in cutting ties with Tehran in 2016, the United Arab Emirates, which has limited its diplomatic ties, and Egypt as well.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has also expressed his intention to increase ties with Asia and distance Tehran from Israel and the United States.

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