Diplomatic relations have been re-established between Saudi Arabia and Iran, two of the most powerful countries in the Muslim world. This was made possible after long negotiations held between the two countries under the initiative and mediation of China. The work of establishing relations between the two countries has already started. This is one of the most talked-about stories in the world right now, which is embarrassing for the US. On the other hand, the establishment of Saudi relations with Israel’s arch-enemy, Iran, is disastrous for Israel. However, regardless of how the US and Israel evaluate this event, the good relationship between Saudi Arabia and Iran will play an important role in establishing peace in the Middle East and the Muslim world. At the same time, it will play a major role in establishing world peace.
The rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran is quite old. However, on January 2, 2016, the Saudi government executed Ayatollah Sheikh Nimr Al Nimr, and this conflict intensified. Sheikh Nimr was a critic of the Saudi government and was supported by Iran. The Saudi government charged Sheikh Nimr with terrorism and arrested and tried him. The Saudi government alleged that Sheikh Nimr fueled the anti-government movement in Saudi Arabia in 2011. The court sentenced Sheikh Nimr to death, and the Saudi government carried it out. Iran immediately reacted strongly.
Iran alleges that Saudi Arabia hanged Sheikh Nimr only for political reasons. Iran strongly criticized Saudi Arabia for this and warned that Saudi Arabia would pay a heavy price. Demonstrators in Iran attacked the Saudi embassy in Tehran to protest the execution of Sheikh Nimr. In protest, Saudi Arabia severed all diplomatic ties with Iran. Since then, there has been no relationship between the two countries. Thus, the conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran intensified, and they took sides in different countries and created unrest.
When powerful states are divided and engage in conflict, other states are also divided and engaged in conflict. When two countries are diplomatically isolated, trade between them also stops. As a result, apart from being politically damaged, the two countries are also economically damaged. The same happened with Saudi Arabia and Iran. As a result, the existing disunity between Muslim countries became stronger. On the other hand, when powerful countries are united, their influence also unites other countries, and then the chances of peace increase. Good relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran will help establish peace in the whole world, including the Muslim world, in the future.
The Muslim world has suffered for years due to the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran. OIC could never play any constructive role due to this conflict. Palestinians have been oppressed by Israel for centuries. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been living in refugee camps in different countries for years. Politics here and in Saudi Arabia and Iran are divided into two poles. Iran is supporting Islamic Jihad and Hamas, and Saudi Arabia is supporting the PLO. As a result, the Palestinians could never unite against Israel and achieve victory. A civil war has been going on in Syria for more than 10 years. The politics there are also divided by the Saudi-Iran conflict. Iran is in favor of President Assad, and Saudi Arabia is supporting the anti-Assad side. The war in Syria is over today. Already, 500,000 Syrians have died, and 500,000 Syrians have become refugees. A civil war has been going on in Yemen for a long time. There is also Saudi Arabia on one side and Iran on the other. Yemen has already been destroyed in the civil war; 60,000 Yemenis have died. Saudi Arabia is giving full support to Sisi, the current ruler of Egypt. Saudi Arabia launched a massive campaign to oust the Brotherhood. And Iran supports the Brotherhood.
When the Muslim countries are divided by the conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the imperialists are strategically destroying the Muslim countries one by one. Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen are its best examples. Myanmar’s rulers have been persecuting Arakan’s Muslims for years, and nearly 1 million Rohingya Muslims have fled their homes and sought refuge in Bangladesh. In Syria, Libya, and Yemen, the warring parties are all Muslims. All those who are dying in this war are Muslims. At this opportunity, the imperialists are selling weapons. The Muslim world has become the chessboard of the Western world.
Good relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran are essential for peace in the Muslim world. And if the distance between them increases, it spreads to other Muslim countries as well. So the good relationship between Saudi Arabia and Iran should be long-lasting. The news of the establishment of relations has already started a positive change in Muslim countries. Saudi Arabia has expressed interest in re-establishing relations with Syria after a century of estrangement. The foreign ministers of both countries have already visited each other’s countries. Saudi Arabia has also agreed to end the ongoing war in Yemen, and for this purpose, a Saudi delegation has visited Yemen. Saudi Arabia has also expressed its desire to restore relations with Hamas in Palestine. It has already been a long time since senior Hamas leaders visited Saudi Arabia, and Saudi Arabia has released many of its jailed pro-Hamas leaders. It also re-established the UAE’s relationship with Qatar. It is hoped that this ongoing change will contribute to building a united Middle East by removing the existing disunity across the region.
It is expected that the Saudi-Iranian relationship will last a long time and result in a solution to the Palestinian problem, an end to the wars in Syria, Libya, and Yemen, and a solution to the Rohingya problem. In this way, good relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran will establish peace in the Muslim world and move it forward on the path of progress, solidarity, and prosperity. Scholars in the Muslim world must take the initiative for unity today.