Did the Assassination of Suleimani Open the Door to a new Saudi-Iranian Deal?

قاسم سليماني
Many in the Arab and international political circles were stunned this week by the recent positive statements made by the Iranians towards the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia only a few weeks after the assassination of commander of the Quds Force Qassem Soleimani. In contrast, observers were expecting escalation between the two countries along the banks of the Arab-Pesian Gulf.

The statements of two Assistant Foreign Affairs Ministers of Iran, Amir Ilhayan and Abbas Araqji caused quite a stir on Sunday along with a wave of questions within many political circles regarding the fate of the commander of the Quds Force in the IRGC General Qassem Soleimani. Soleimani was targeted and killed a few weeks ago by an American airstrike that destroyed his convoy as he was exiting Baghdad International airport. The United States of America and President Donald Trump announced their responsibility for the assassination shortly afterwards.

Recommencement of Saudi Iranian relations

Yesterday, the Iranian Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs Amir Ilhayan stated that there are good indications for the return of Saudi Iranian and Arab-Iranian relations. Also, the Iranian Assistant Foreign Minister for Foreign Affairs Abbas Araqji stated that a door has opened for the return of normal Arab-Iranian relations and especially with KSA.

Read more: The Final Days for Iran and its Allies

These announcements have come in the wake of the assassination of Soleimani and have brought back the possibilities that were envisioned following the day of the assassination when Iranian leadership expressed the desire to reinvest in Arab relations and movein that direction. Soleimani was working to establish a joint Arab Force to liberate Palestine and Jerusalem and implementing Iran’s military and security strategy in the region. He had started forming this task force in Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, and Palestine publicly and in other Arab countries secretly. This was the biggest concern for the Zionist occupation and its diplomatic allies. The elimination of Soleimani has effectively put his entire project on hold, and as such has opened the opportunity for Iranian diplomacy to take action and invest in improving its diplomatic and economic relations with the Arab world.

Was the assassination of Soleimani a behind the scenes primer to a new deal that is starting to appear through these official statements? Was the lack of American response to the Iranian strikes also part of a agreement that allows such a deal to transpire? Mystifying questions have risen due to the statements of the Assistants of Foreign Affairs Minister Jawad Zarif. Will they find sufficient answers especially knowing that KSA was a key target for Iran as well as Soleimani’s forces?

توقيع كتاب عن الثورة الايرانية لاسعد حيدر
«طريق القدس» يمّر من الفرات.. إيران تتوعد بطرد أميركا من الجزيرة السورية