Iran, Saudi Arabia, and US: The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Frenemy

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

We would like to challenge the above ancient proverb that advises one to befriend his enemy’s friend because they share a common goal: defeat the shared enemy.  We challenge it because the proverb did not foresee several”Machiavellis” emerging to power at the same time.  Therefore, PITAPOLICY moves to amend this advice: The enemy of my enemy is my frenemy.  (Thanks to Stephen Colbert for his word wit and Washington’s Blog for laying out a 21st century example in the MENA region for showing the errors in applying to multi-actor settings.)

Relationship Chart Analysis by Joshua Keating, Slate Magazine and Chris Kirk.

Former Iranian President Khatami noted the hawkish upswing in the United States because of the 45th U.S. President.  Khatami, who comes from The Reform party, faces a government ban from official media.  Nonetheless, this has not stopped him from warning his fellow Iranians that “this is the best time for an environment of national reconciliation”–which hints to the current Iranian leadership to recognize the dissident movements, like political prisoners who participated in the 2009 Green Movement, according to political commentator, Arash Karami.  Perhaps the controversial “45” will inadvertantly unite some hawkish and moderate voices in Iran.  Reconciliation is not unwarranted given that Iran’s Foreign Minister wants to upgrade Saudi Arabia to its ‘Frenemy’ list, according to this speech at the World Economic Forum:

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was crystal clear at the World Economic Congress in Davos on Jan. 18 when he said that Iran and Saudi Arabia must cooperate to end the conflicts in Syria and Yemen, just like they did in Lebanon when they worked to lift the obstacles for Lebanese presidential elections.

Original Source: Addiyar (Arabic newspaper:)
Some may argue that a recent example of cooperation between Iran and Saudi Arabia brokered a deal among Lebanese political parties to produce a president, while Lebanese party heads deny this.
On a somewhat related note: neither the Syrian nor Yemen conflicts emerged in the top ten twitter chatter topics during the World Economic Forum, according to the Netnograph site.  Netnograph tracks the leading topics of interest at global events.

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