‘I don’t believe the Iranians want a broader war’: Saudi FM

During an interview with FRANCE 24 on Monday, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister stated, “I don’t believe that the Iranians want a broader war.”

During an interview with FRANCE 24 on Monday, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister stated, “I don’t believe that the Iranians want a broader war.”

Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud also said that his country was “concerned” about a regional war, adding that the longer the conflict in Gaza rages, the more danger there is for miscalculation and the more danger there is for escalation.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference (MSC), Bin Farhan described “the level of civilian death and destruction” in Gaza as “unimaginable.”
“We already have a humanitarian catastrophe on our hands,” the top Saudi diplomat noted.

He added that the potential prospect of Israeli military operations in Rafah – the last safe haven in the south without any clear mechanisms to protect the civilians – is completely unacceptable.
“We have said from the beginning that we need a ceasefire, and we need a ceasefire now more than ever,” he noted.

In the end, the Saudi foreign minister voiced his government’s support for a peace deal between opposition sides in Yemen, saying the deal is “close”, and that Riyadh “would support” it.
The MSC claimed to be a significant meeting for the security policy community, boasting over 900 participants, including 50 heads of state and government, 100 ministers, and various representatives.
But, the event organizers failed to invite all stakeholders of global security.

Spanning from February 16 to 18, the MSC 2024 purportedly focused on global issues like Iran, the Gaza war, and Ukraine. Adopting the motto of “Lose-Lose?”, the conference was aimed to center around geopolitical tensions and economic uncertainty, framing it as a consequence of world governments abandoning global cooperation.

However, beneath its veneer of addressing security concerns, the MSC displayed a perplexing paradox, succumbing to a real loss when acknowledging pressing global issues, particularly the Gaza war. Rather than contributing to stability, the conference seemed to inadvertently exacerbate the situation by providing a stage for Israel to amplify its victim narrative and advocate for the continuation of the conflict.

Iran, a significant player in West Asia, was conspicuously absent from the conference, a decision possibly influenced by Israel’s lobbying and uncalculated moves by the conference founders. This exclusion left a substantial gap in the dialogue, considering Iran’s involvement in crucial geopolitical matters. The Munich Security Conference’s failure to include Iran casts doubts on its claims of inclusivity and willingness to engage with diverse viewpoints.
This exclusion became more perplexing considering the surprising presence of infamous members of the Iranian diaspora as one-sided representatives who have shown, in multiple occasions, to be completely anti-Iran.
In light of these complexities, the MSC should consider reassessing its selection criteria for participants, ensuring that key regional actors are included to provide a more holistic understanding of the geopolitical landscape. Furthermore, fostering an environment that encourages open and inclusive dialogue will be crucial in promoting genuine security and stability.