By Ali Hashem for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iran Business News.
Attempts to mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia have probably reached a dead end, an Arab diplomatic source told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. The source added that a new path doesn’t seem to be possible given “Tehran’s arrogant approach in the region and its insistence on threatening its neighbors, meddling in their internal affairs and helping destabilize the region.”
This appears to put an end to speculation that a new chapter might be ahead between the two Persian Gulf neighbors whose relations saw a drastic deterioration in the past years, notably after Riyadh executed a Saudi Shiite cleric on Jan. 2, 2016, and angry Iranian protesters stormed the kingdom’s diplomatic missions in Tehran and Mashhad in retaliation.
Prior to this, a series of events had laid the foundations for the Saudi-Iranian collision, starting with the crisis in Syria that began in March 2011 and including the war in Yemen launched by Riyadh and its allies in March 2015.
Despite the continuing wars in Syria and Yemen, there was room for optimism when Iraqi Interior Minister Qasim al-Araji told reporters in Tehran on Aug. 13 that Saudi officials had asked his government to bridge the gaps with Tehran. Saudi officials later denied Araji’s claims, but this didn’t end the wave of positive thinking that reached its peak during the hajj season.