Global actors interfere in region at their own discretion

TEHRAN, Jul. 16 (MNA) – Referring to Biden's tour to West Asia, Margoev says due to different challenges in the region some states engage global actors as providers of their security but those actors interfere in affairs at their own discretion.

US President Joe Biden landed in Saudi Arabia on Friday on the second leg of his four-day regional tour, welcomed in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah by Prince Khalid Al Faisal, a senior member of the royal family and the governor of Mecca.

Biden’s first trip to Saudi Arabia comes amid efforts to reset Washington’s relationship with Riyadh, and as the world grapples with soaring energy costs.

The Biden administration appears to be eager to show that its relationship with Saudi Arabia has benefits far beyond oil, with Biden making strenuous efforts to mend fences with the kingdom's leadership. Biden is looking to strengthen ties with a country that has been a key regional ally of Washington for decades, a major supplier of oil and a buyer of weapons.

Analysts believe that Biden wants the world's largest exporter of crude to increase production to bring down soaring fuel prices, which threaten Democratic chances in upcoming mid-term elections. 

Since the beginning of Russia's military operation in Ukraine and the ensuing spikes in oil prices, the US president has made great efforts to control fuel prices as well as isolate Russia. Many analysts believe that Biden's visit to the Middle East is in line with these issues, among others.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden and the Zionist Prime Minister Yair Lapid have reiterated their anti-Iran positions in a joint declaration. Noteworthy that before the beginning of Biden's regional tour there were reports on the Joint efforts of Tel Aviv and Washington to create an anti-Iran regional alliance with some Arab states. 

The statement said that the US will use “all elements of national power” available to it to deny Iran the ability to arm itself with nuclear weapons.

To know more about the issue, we reached out to Adlan Margoev, a Research Fellow at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University).

We have never seen a successful alignment among regional Arab countries during the past decades. For example, Arab League was created to defend Palestine but failed to do so. Why? 

There are challenges to security in the Middle East at all levels: national, regional, and international. We see fragile support for some governments in the region, ethnic and sectarian conflicts in and in-between some of the countries. In this environment, regional authorities engage different global actors as providers of their security, and in some cases, those actors interfere in regional affairs at their own discretion. The multi-level clash of interests makes it hard for Arabs to unify positions.

Now, with the help of the US, Tel Aviv is trying to create an anti-Iran alignment with some Arab countries. Don’t you think that this initiative is dead-born? 

This is sort of a competition between Tel-Aviv and Tehran: who presents less of a threat to Arab nations and improves relations with them. The more negative sounds the official rhetoric in Tehran, the more it convinces the Arab nations that Tehran is naturally against improved relationships in the region. I would be interested to see what the reaction would be if Tehran welcomed emerging ties among the regional states and would invite all of them to build a truly inclusive regional security system.

As Iran considers any alignment with Israel a threat, do you think that some regional Arab countries are ready to antagonize Iran?

I prefer to focus on positive developments in the region. The relationship between Iran and Saudi Arabia matters a lot in this context. I hope the two countries succeed in restoring the diplomatic ties, and that will set a positive example for other [Persian] Gulf states to engage in a dialogue with Iran.

Generally, can such a provocative move help maintain regional security or it can aggravate the fragile stability in the region?  

I come from a Russian perspective on regional security: Moscow doesn’t take sides in the region unless there’s a strong security imbalance. If other nations in and beyond the region manage to settle at least some of the issues by talking to all sides of those conflicts rather than by building alliances against any specific country, then the whole region will be better off.

Can't such a move lead to an arms race in the region?

We are now living in a world of narrowly defined national interests prevailing over widely recognized global challenges. The arms race is therefore inevitable. 

Interview by Payman Yazdani

News Code 189113

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