Abstract: All relationships, including international relations swim in a fragile blend of “domestic” policy and “foreign” policy.
In the case of this conversation in question, Saudia and Iran are not quite “domestic” but from the perspective of US interests in the region, that conversation must be regarded as “talk among ourselves.”
The Values related reflections for this entry deal with the question if alliances among challenging dialogue partners should be seen as good or bad, AND how assumptions on this matter impact news media’s influence for positive progress in international relations.
AFP reports out of Riyadh
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Saudi King Abdullah discussed regional affairs by telephone on Tuesday amid tensions over Iraqi and Lebanese politics and a Gulf arms buildup, the official SPA news agency said.
The leaders of the two rival powers “discussed bilateral relations and reviewed the overall situation in the region” in the rare call.
People familiar with the tectonics in the region know that entirely apart from issues related to the United States and Israel, there exists a substantial power struggle between Iran and Saudi Arabia, not merely in the bilateral relations of these two countries, but as with all international relations in how these nations influence politics in subordinate spheres throughout the region. In this case, Iraqi politics, as well as influences in Lebanon and Gaza are dry tinder.
The conversation took place as the two sides appeared to be at odds over the formation of Iraq‘s government, stalemated seven months after parliamentary elections.
Saudis fear an Iranian-backed government of incumbent Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and have been supporters of former prime minister Iyad Allawi, whose political block outpaced Maliki’s in the March 7 election, but without enough seats to claim the premiership outright.
On Sunday, Allawi held talks with Abdullah on a visit to Riyadh. Details of their discussion were not revealed.
Here is the question: From the perspective of US and Israeli interests in the region, should the potential “coming closer” of Saudi Arabia and Iran through such “talks” and perhaps a wider pursuit of positive relations, be considered as a positive development, or a greater threat in the potential for global tension.
Ideologies that uphold positive assessment of harmony and unity should imagine that even an “enemy” dialogue partner who grows less fractured and more stable enhances the chance for the spread of harmony even in an expanded sphere. This view is the opposite of “divide and conquer,” in that it assumes that if your dialogue partner is a fractured wreck, constructive talks and positive progress with such an entity is impossible.
Is unity (or the potential of unity) even among those with whom hostilities obtain a good thing?