Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) held their first-ever telephone conversation late on Wednesday to discuss "the need to end war crimes against Palestine.”
State-run news agency Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said MBS stressed the “necessity of adhering to the principles of international humanitarian law and expressed deep concern for the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza and its impact on civilians” and “reaffirmed the kingdom’s stance against targeting civilians in any way and the loss of innocent lives.”
MbS doubled down on his support for the Palestinian cause and his support for “efforts aimed at achieving comprehensive and fair peace that ensures the Palestinian people's legitimate rights.”
According to Mohammad Jamshidi, political advisor to the Iranian president, the crown prince warned that failing to recognize Palestinian rights would further inflame the situation, adding that “cooperation between Riyadh and Tehran can contribute effectively and quickly to putting an end to the conflict inside Palestine."
Raisi emphasized that the issue of Palestine “cannot be solved” without giving the Palestinians full rights.
This is pretty stunning. That MBS would agree to have his first conversation with Iranian president Raisi IN THE MIDST of this crisis, let alone what was said on that call regarding stopping the bombing of Gaza... https://t.co/CkvnaozlKK— Trita Parsi (@tparsi) October 11, 2023
The current situation in Palestine results from “repeated miscalculations by Western countries, led by the US,” Raisi said.
“Iran and Saudi Arabia, as major players in the region, can support the oppressed Palestinian people in the current circumstances, which are sensitive circumstances,” Raisi added.
Raisi also warned, “the crimes of the occupation and the American green light will cause devastating insecurity for [Israel] and its supporters.”
Iran and Saudi Arabia signed a historic Chinese-brokered reconciliation agreement in March this year to end years of regional tension between the two countries.
Several months later, Saudi Arabia entered US-sponsored talks to normalize ties with Israel. While publicly holding on to the Palestinian issue as a condition, Riyadh made major demands in exchange for a deal, including a firm defense treaty with Washington, help developing a nuclear program, and access to more advanced weaponry.
Saudi state media reports that Saudi leader Mohammed bin Salman and Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi -- bitter rivals -- spoke yesterday about "the ongoing military escalation in Gaza" and "unwavering stance in standing up for the Palestinian Cause."https://t.co/3POsYIsF74 pic.twitter.com/CVCjmKiNr5— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) October 12, 2023
But Hamas "Operation Al-Aqsa Flood" and the devastating Israeli response against civilians in the Gaza Strip have seemingly eroded any hope of the deal being reached.
According to The Cradle columnist Mohammad Sweidan, Riyadh will now “find it nigh near impossible to abandon the request for Israeli concessions, particularly with Tel Aviv's aggressive bombardment of civilians in the Gaza Strip now a daily occurrence.”