The Saudi Deputy Crown Prince’s speech about Iran is a major development in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s resolve on confronting Iran’s ambitions and its expansionist project in the region.
In a TV interview with the Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister, which was broadcasted on Tuesday evening on several channels, HRH Prince Mohammad spoke about the relationship between Iran and its Arab and regional neighbors as one of the primary issues of concern to Saudi Arabia and to all Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC] member states.
During the interview, we noticed the prince’s insight and depth of understanding of the Iranian situation and the details about the Iranian regime’s mentality and orientations. To gain a deeper insight of the Prince’s comments on Iran, we can divide his speech into four main themes:
The first concerns the possibility of dialogue with the Iranian regime in light of its current behavior, taking into account the Jurist Leadership [Wilayat-e Faqih] ideology and the regime’s related expansionist ambitions. HRH explicitly stated that this is impossible with the continuing trend that makes the Iranian regime an exceptional case in the world; while all countries openly discuss their political and economic differences not hiding behind an ideological facade, the Iranian regime has built its legitimacy on the Jurist Leadership doctrine.
The second is the nature of the ideology dominating the political thought in Iran. This is based on the belief that the regime is paving the way for the emergence of “Mahdi” while taking control of the Islamic world through spreading chaos and destruction until the Imam emerges to restore justice to the world. Such an inflexible fundamentalist ideology, the prince emphasized, makes dealing with the current regime in Tehran difficult for everyone and makes Iran impossible to deal with rationally. At the same time, he pointed out, the Iranian regime has neglected its domestic situation and the demands of its own people who are suffering from chronic poverty, unemployment, lack of basic services and terrible infrastructure at all levels.
The third subject touched upon by the prince is the revelation of Iran’s foreign policy strategy, which has gone from irreconcilable moderate pragmatism to radical fundamentalism. In this regard, HRH pointed to the Rafsanjani presidential era in Iran that completed the earlier work undertaken by Khatami after which the political pendulum swung back to the school of strident Iranian asceticism. Such swings characterize the Iranian regime’s foreign policy that oscillates between openness to the outside world and being completely sealed off from it; a vacillating strategy of escalation followed by periods of calm depending on the circumstances.
The fourth aspect the prince tackled was how best to deal with the Iranian regime’s expansionist project, which he referred to in terms of two possible strategies: the first, he said, was to clip Iran’s claws in the region, and the second was to take Iran’s regional battles back to Iran itself. HRH suggested that since Iran is currently working on taking its war to Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia could transfer it back to Iran.
To analyze the final point of Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s speech concerning moving battles to the inside of Iran, we come up with two possible interpretations: the first is that there would be an inevitable attempt to thwart the Iranian expansion in the region. By forcing Iran to retreat back inside its borders, people will carry out a long-awaited domestic showdown with the regime in order to hold it accountable for denying people’s rights in the last four decades.
The second possible interpretation is that the prince is suggesting that Iran’s behavior in the region should be directly confronted within its borders. with Iran intervening in the Saudi and other Gulf countries’ internal affairs (as well as in other Arab countries), the Gulf states led by Saudi Arabia would transfer the battle to the Iranian interior, treating Tehran according to the language of military conquest which is apparently the only language it understands- in case it does not change its behavior.
In summary, the Saudi Deputy Crown Prince’s comments about Iran show genuine developments in Saudi Arabia’s resolve in the face of Iran’s ambitions and regional expansionist project and provide a clear and legible roadmap for the Iranian regime if it wishes to restore relations with its Arab neighboring countries, especially Saudi Arabia. The comments also sent an indirect message to the peoples [including the ethnic minority groups] of Iran to tell them that, “the whole region is suffering because of the behavior of the Jurist Leadership regime same as the Iranian peoples’ suffering from marginalization and negligence of their demands.” The prince’s final words concerning the plight of ethnic minority groups and all people in Iran suggest that the relationship between the escalating of tension and the negative image promoted by Iran’s regime in the region will not last long.
Opinions in this article reflect the writer’s point of view, not necessarily the view of The Arabain GCIS