BY Javad Heirannia

U.S. and Saudi Arabia have largely lost trust in each other: scholar

May 13, 2016

TEHRAN – Head of the Iran center at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies believes that the United States and Saudi Arabia largely “lost trust if each other”.

“Whilst there is no interest in breaking the alliance quite yet, both sides have lost a significant amount of trust in each other,” Arshin Adib-Moghaddam tells the Tehran Times.

Following is the text of the interview:

Q: The White House had threatened to veto a bipartisan bill to let families victimized by the 9/11 terrorist attacks sue Saudi Arabia. What was the reason behind such a threat?

A: Current events in the United States are more about the elections than shifts in the country's foreign policy. Having said that, the relationship between Saudi Arabia and United States is by far less solid than it used to be. There are many voices in Washington DC and beyond who question the viability of the alliance given the heavy-handed actions that Saudi Arabia pursues in Yemen and elsewhere.

Q: Some argue that the strategic importance of Saudi Arabia to the U.S. has diminished. Do you agree with such a view?

There are many voices in Washington DC and beyond who question the viability of the alliance given the heavy-handed actions that Saudi Arabia pursues in Yemen and elsewhere.

A: Whilst there is no interest in breaking the alliance quite yet, both sides have lost a significant amount of trust in each other. All in all, as indicated in my previous interviews, the Persian Gulf and the wider West Asian and North African area has lost some of its strategic significance to the West. Looser ties with Saudi Arabia are one of the effects of this gradual transformation of global politics.

Q: In a summit between President Obama and leaders of GCC countries in Riyadh on April 21 the sides agreed on common patrol forces against Iran. How do you see this?

A: It is symbolic, more than anything else. But it is also indicative of the failure to pursue a regional security architecture. The level of distrust between Iran and Saudi Arabia in particular is unsustainable and feeds into the insecurity of all littoral states. It is only natural that the smaller sheikhdoms seek their security from outside actors. Don't forget that the GCC was created during the Iran-Iraq war. The GCC is an institution born in response to regional crises. It is only natural that it evolves accordingly.

 

 


 

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