TEHRAN — A respected scholar believes it is necessary for Iran and its Arab neighbors to speed up their talks as the United States seeks to form a coalition between Israel and some Arab states against Iran.
Farhang Jahanpour, a professor emeritus who has taught for many years at Oxford and Cambridge Universities, made the suggestion as US President Joe Biden plans to visit the region from July 13-16.
During Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia, Arab leaders, including ruling countries on the southern coast of the Persian Gulf, will attend the meeting, which is scheduled to take place in Jeddah.
Jahanpour says the US also intends to legitimize Israel’s “military role in the Arab world,” thereby facilitating the formation of “strategic cooperation” against Iran.
“The US is seeking to form an Israeli-Arab alliance to militarize relations between ME neighbors and ‘further legitimize Israel’s military role in the Arab world and facilitate strategic cooperation against Iran.’ Iran and Arab neighbors must speed up peace talks,” Professor Jahanpour tweeted.
Through Iraq’s mediation, Iran and Saudi Arabia have taken steps to improve ties. Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi visited Iran on June 26 to deliver the Saudi message to Iran. He flew direct from Saudi Arabia to Tehran. After that visit, the Foreign Ministry said the message included the Saudi side’s willingness to raise the level of negotiations with Iran from the security level to the diplomatic level.
The Iraqi Prime Minister paid a return visit to Saudi Arabia on Sunday, July 3, to deliver messages from Iran to the Saudi leadership.
After meeting the Iraqi Prime Minister in Tehran, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said the Islamic Republic supports the reopening of the Saudi and Iranian embassies in the capitals of the two regional powerhouses.
In his June 30 speech, Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein also announced that Baghdad would also host separate bilateral talks between Iran and Egypt and Jordan.
Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian, who visited Syria on July 2, called Egypt an “important country in the world of Islam” and said expanding ties between Tehran and Cairo would “benefit the two nations.”
Amir Abdollahian also visited Abu Dhabi on May 16 to pay his respects to the late President of the United Arab Emirates, Khalifa bin Zayed. There he met with the country’s new leader, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed.
After meeting the new UAE president, Iran’s foreign minister said a new page had been turned in Iran-UAE relations.
“A new page is being turned in relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Emirates,” Amir Abdollahian tweeted in Persian.
Amir Abdollahian also said good relations among neighbors would disappoint opponents.