“Saudi Arabia believes, to its assumptions, that it can disintegrate Iran by collaborating with Israel and the US, and then put an end to the problem of Iran and its regional influence,” Shireen Hunter said in an exclusive interview with IRNA.
“It also tries to exploit the hostility between Iran and Israel and solve Iran issue with the help of the US and Israel.”
Describing Riyadh's policies in the region as failed, she said that the Saudi leaders are having Iranophobia and suffering from the megalomania, which may have negative outcomes for Saudi Arabia in the region.
The US problem with Iran is that the latter wants to be a main, legitimate player in the region, according to the expert, who is also an international relation professor at Georgetown University.
“The Americans believe that Iran is 'excessively' trying to have influence in the region,” she said.
The US problem with Iran dates back to pre-Islamic Revolution era, and now some people in Washington are trying to solve the issue permanently through disintegration of Iran, Hunter said.
As to anti-Iran policies of Saudi Arabia, she said that Riyadh claims not only leadership of the region, but also that of the Muslim world.
The Iranian-American writer said that Israel and Saudi Arabia both want to persuade the US to confront Iran.
“Riyadh is trying to convince the US that it can contribute to the Palestine issue by making the Arabs normalize their relations with Israel,” she said.
“Saudi Arabia has long been a strategic ally of the US, therefore the full-scale support Trump's administration gives to Riyadh should be analyzed within the same context, and it should not be regarded as a new issue,” the expert said.
Israel's security and the issue of Palestine are two pivotal issues in the region for the US, she said, adding that Saudi Arabia is now trying to show itself as the key to the crisis on one hand, and introduce Iran as the main hurdle on the way toward establishing Arab-Israeli peace, on the other hand.
“In such a situation, Iran is continuing its support for the Axis of Resistance.”
“Unfortunately, there is some kind of consensus on Iran issue within the US; those who think like Senator Bernie Sanders and support talking with Iran, are on the margins of politics in the US,” the expert said of political trends in the US Congress and the White House regarding the provocative policies of Riyadh and the anti-Iran rhetoric of the Saudi officials.
“Those who back Israel play a powerful and more influential role than you think,” she said.
“Therefore, I believe that the main issue is Israel, and as long as it supports Saudi Arabia, Riyadh has the boldness to continue its aggressive behavior in the region, particularly in the current situation that there remains nobody in the Arab world to stand against Saudi Arabia,” Hunter said.
“It should be noted that the reason behind Saudis” radicalization is the mission which has been given to them. Of course attacking Yemen was not a mission for Mohammed Bin Salman, but when he invaded Yemen, nobody prevented him, and following the invasion, a huge amount of weapon was sold to Saudi Arabia.
The Georgetown University professor said that the situation is to some extent due to lack of balance of power in the international arena, so the Arab countries feel they are the sole players.
“Saudi Arabia is in a state that we can call the megalomania before fall,” she said.
“I believe that it is not capable of doing anything; it is relying on its financial influence, but due to lack of wisdom in Saudi leadership, its policies have rendered reverse results,” the expert said.
“Nevertheless, I am concerned that Saudi Arabia and Israel will convince the US administration to launch a military intervention in Iran.”
“Some American politicians, like the Defense Secretary James Mattis, hate Iran in an odd way, and they believe that Iran was responsible for the death of American soldiers in Iraq and Lebanon,” she said.
“I am worried that with such an unaware and unpredictable person in the White House as Trump, the US surrenders to Israel and Saudi Arabia pressures on attacking Iran.”