CENTRE FOR AIR POWER STUDIES - Iran Saudi Détente: What to Expect
22 March 2023
The Persian Gulf has always been effervescent, and a lot has changed since 2016: Qatar’s blockade by Saudi Arabia in 2017; Turkey and Iran attempting to come together along with Pakistan and Malaysia to form an alternate Islamic power centre; raising of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition, also known as ‘Muslim NATO,’ leaving Iran out of the grouping; the defeat of ISIL in Iraq and Sy. [...] After ditching the Shah, the US made Saudi Arabia its pivot in the Gulf and played on the threat from Iran as its raison d’etre for becoming the security guarantor for the Arab nations. [...] Since the heat on Israel for handling the Palestine cause was becoming unsustainable, the Abrahams Accord signed between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain in August 2020 was an attempt to normalise relations between Israel and the Arab world. [...] In such a scenario, the Islamic establishment needs to assuage the financial conditions of its people, for which it requires enablers to sell its crude in the open market and lots of investments to create job opportunities and push the stagnant and receding economic parameters. [...] For the region as a whole, the stature of the US is certainly on the downslide, with Russia and China replacing its traditional influence in the Persian Gulf.