Thursday, March 30, 2023

Agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia: a blow to Israel’s regional strategy

Saudi Arabia chose Iran over Israel. A blow for the Jewish state, which dreamed of seeing the Saudi kingdom join the Abraham Accords signed in September 2020 with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, two states very close to Riyadh. But the Saudis who, in any case, had imposed a condition on it, namely a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, decided otherwise.

Palestinian officials from the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and the Islamic Party all welcomed the deal. On the Israeli side, however, the news, which fell on Friday, has not yet provoked any official reaction from the government of Benjamin Netanyahu. This Sunday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs refused to “comment on this development. »

A political victory for Iran

It is true that he calls into question the strategy of the Israeli Prime Minister who, as soon as he took office at the end of December, had set out two priorities for his foreign policy: “blocking Iran” and “considerably widening the circle of peace which was meant to be an outstretched hand to Saudi Arabia.

This rapprochement is “dangerous for Israel

Naftali Bennett Former Prime Minister of Israel

The unofficial reaction from those around Netanyahu is that this deal won’t matter much if the West is stronger and more determined in its fight against Iran. But former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who is not even an MP anymore, declared that this rapprochement is “dangerous for Israel”, constitutes a “political victory for Iran (and) deals a fatal blow to efforts aimed at to build a regional coalition against Iran. »

The day before the announcement of this agreement, the American Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, ended a five-day tour of the Middle East in Israel, which had taken him to Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. Common point of these different meetings: regional security and therefore the Iranian threat.

“A critical period”

During a press conference held with his Israeli counterpart, Yoav Gallant, Lloyd Austin repeatedly recalled his country’s “ironclad commitment” to Israel, which “is a major strategic partner of the United United “. He also said that the Abraham Accords facilitate military cooperation between Israel and its neighbors. Likewise, for the integration of Israel in 2021 into CENTCOM; the US Central Command which operates in the Middle East and Central Asia was born 40 years ago in a low-intensity maritime war with Iran.

Yoav Gallant, meanwhile, said: “We are in a critical period; we will soon have to take important, significant and fateful decisions for the State of Israel. The Iranian threat forces us to prepare and be ready for any action”.

For his part, Benjamin Netanyahu, in an interview published the same day in the Italian daily, La Repubblica, confided: “History is impartial and ruthless. It does not favor the virtuous, nor those who are morally superior. It favors the strong. Benjamin Netanyahu, son of a historian, has undoubtedly chosen his path.


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