Specious enemies, real allies
Rapporteur- Farbod Dehghani: Since the establishment of Israel in 1948, relations between Israel and the Arabs have been faced with many ups and downs. After two Arab-Israeli wars, which twice led to the defeat of the Arabs, many of these countries signed a peace treaty with Israel and even some of them, such as Egypt and Jordan have established diplomatic and economic relations with Tel Aviv.
In the meantime, relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel have been heated more than other countries. Earlier, several reports of good economic relations between the Saudis and the Israelis had been released, but it seems that the relationship between the two has become more open issue.
While Saudi Arabia remains historically at odds with Israel, their ministers demanded at the Munich Security Conference that Tehran be punished for propping up the Syrian government, developing ballistic missiles and funding separatists in Yemen.
International sanctions on Iran were lifted a year ago under a nuclear deal with world powers, but Republican senators said at the conference they would press for new U.S. measures over the missiles issue and Tehran's actions to "destabilize" the Middle East.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir called Tehran the main sponsor of global terrorism and a destabilizing force in the Middle East.
He sidestepped a question about Israel's call for concerted action with Sunni Arab states amid growing speculation that the two countries could normalize relations and join forces to oppose Tehran, much as Turkey has done.
The six Arab members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), especially Saudi Arabia, accuse Iran of using sectarianism to interfere in Arab countries and build its own sphere of influence in the Middle East. Iran denies the accusations.
"Iran remains the single main sponsor of terrorism in the world," Adel al-Jubeir told delegates at the conference. "It's determined to upend the order in the Middle East ... (and) until and unless Iran changes its behavior it would be very difficult to deal with a country like this."(1)