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Iranian-Arabian relations were never notable for warmth. The reasons are not only religious disagreements between Shiites and Sunnites, but also territorial disputes, and basically – Iran’s nuclear program and her claim for the regional leadership.

Recently Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stated that some Arab countries in the Iranian nuclear program issue took the West’s side “against Iran, forgetting that in reality the main enemy of the Arab world is the Zionist regime”. Last year Saudi Arabia announced about construction of the first nuclear reactor with the help of the USA.

Tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran was formed when the Shiite clergy came to power in Iran. Political disagreements deepened during the military conflict in Lebanon. Besides, Iran is on Hamaz’s side, Palestine freedom movement while Al Riyadh is supporting Palestine President Mahmud Abbas.

It is noteworthy to mention that Iran’s only ally in the Arab world is Syria, and this friendship, according to Arabs, is working against their interests.

Anyway the Arab world is worried about the Iranian nuclear program more than the Israel issue. The analysts think that Israel and Gulf countries could form a united front against Iran. Al Riyadh even conducts negotiations with the USA on probable military actions against Iran.

It is interesting to mention that in February when Ahmadinejad was in Syria, his Friday prayer he conducted in a Sunnite mosque, and afterwards stated that for him Islam is one and he doesn’t see any difference between Sunnites and Shiites. However Al Riyadh thinks that this statement is just a trick, and its aim is to lessen religious and ideological tension between Iran and Arab countries and become the leader of all the Muslims.

That is why, when the Arab League General Secretary called to start dialogue with Iran in case of the increase of “nuclear threat from Israel” the Arab countries headed by Saudi Arabia replied negatively.

Nelli Mouradyan, Arabist

Category: #48 (913) 8.12.2011 – 14.12.2011, News, Spotlight, Military-Political