Friday, January 19, 2007

Iran talks to Saudis

It looks like there may be at least preliminary communications going on between Iran and Saudi Arabia with regard to stabilizing Iraq:

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) -- Iran's President Mahmud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that he sent a message to Saudi King Abdullah proposing that they cooperate in helping stabilize Iraq.

"We, Saudis and other neighboring countries can help the Iraqi people to take the lead to consolidate their government's capability to stabilize and maintain security in their country," Ahmadinejad told the Saudi-owned satellite television channel.

Iran's overture to Saudi Arabia appeared to be an attempt to counter American efforts to rally its allies in the region and isolate Tehran.

Iran's attempt to reach out to Saudi Arabia is significant. They've been on opposing sides in the Iraq conflict. Iran supports the Shia-dominated Iraqi government and Shia militias that are perpetuating so much of the sectarian violence. Saudi Arabia has indicated that they'll back the Sunni insurgents in Iraq (if they're not already) if coalition forces leave, which might mean a wider war and even more instability in the region. But if Iran and Saudi Arabia can work together, they may be able to stabilize Iraq at least a little, if only by staying out of it.

It'll be interesting to see how the US reacts to the talks between their favourite mideast ally and the country they're building up to attack.