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Saudi Arabia; Struggling for Controlled Changes

Blog ID : #972
Publish Date : 2018 May 14 18:40
View Count : 253
Author : Dr. Mahdi Mirzadeh K
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Saudi Arabia; Struggling for Controlled Changes

Dr. Mahdi Mirzadeh Koohshahi

 

With fundamental measures and actions taken by Mohammed bin Salman, there remains little doubt about this reality that he is an undisputed ruler of Saudi Arabia. Bin Salman’s freedom of action, however, is not satisfactory to the royal family, especially his rivals, but there is also no effective resistance to his actions, even among influential clerics who use religion as a weapon to consolidate their power. In addition to pursuing his own domestic reforms, Bin Salman insists on his positions regarding the developments in the region, including the crises in Syria, Yemen and Qatar, and Lebanese issues. He has also paid visits to Egypt, Britain, France, the United States of America and Spain.

 

What has encouraged the Saudi rulers for implementing new changes in the country is the demographic change in the country and, as a result, a change in the society and the younger generation of the country. contrary to their predecessors, the intellectual discourse raised by bin Salman and his young allies -many of whom are educated in the West- deny the traditional reading of Islam, especially in governing the young society of Saudi Arabia in the 21st century.

 

The "Future Investment Plan" considers an economy for Saudi Arabia which is not based on oil revenues. Creating employment through urban development; tourism development; the development of new technologies; the NEOM project; the development of the economic city of King Abdullah; the development of solar energy and the pursuit of new energies such as solar, wind and nuclear; the development of space technologies etc. is among the Saudi plans for the realization of 2030 vision in the country.

 

In order to use its relative and environmental advantages to reduce the role of oil and fossil fuels, Saudi Arabia has put solar energy on the agenda and signed a memorandum with the Japanese company Soft Bank, according to which, It will invest $ 200 billion in solar energy.

 

The main points of talks and agreements between Bin Salman and Western officials were as follows: putting pressure on Iran; attracting economic cooperation; arms purchases and attacking Syria were. However, evidences suggest that the Yemeni crisis; relations with Qatar and the developments in Afghanistan have also been the subject of debate.

 

Trump, who is aware of the Saudis' high inclination to pressure Syria, seeks to take the costs of the US presence in that country from the Saudis through playing political game.

 

The Saudis have never thought about the possible political and security implications of some of their economic and social measures; the consequences that may change the security and political stability of this country and even the region.

 

Confidence building; uniformity in the foreign policy of the country; making coalition and developing relations with Saudi rivals are measures that can protect Iran from the damages caused by Saudi oppositions and hostilities. In the international arena, the improvement of relations and the development of political and economic ties with various countries, especially the Western countries and the great powers, can neutralize Saudi Arabia's efforts to make a consensus against Iran.

 

The domestic and international political moves of the Saudi rulers, especially the crown prince of the country, indicate their efforts to move from a situation that is considered undesirable not only by the Saudi rulers, but also by elites and many citizens.

 

Social liberties, economic reforms, the shift to new technologies, the equipping of the military, military intervention in the surrounding countries, the struggle for proximity to the West and hostility and exposure to Iran are the strategies that the Saudis are in pursuit of to reach their ideal situation and to improve the economic, military and social conditions of Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, many of their actions are ambitious particularly in the economic field. The pursuit of economic goals, combined with military conflict in the region, has reduced the probability of Saudi success. Moreover, the Saudis have never thought about the possible political and security implications of some of their economic and social measures; the consequences that may change the security and political stability of this country and even the region.

 

In the current situation, Saudi Arabia has embarked on widespread plans in economic field, that, at the first glance, many of them are faced with ambiguity. However, the seriousness of the ruling authorities shows that they are stern in pursuing their goals because, from the viewpoint of the Saudi elites, these reforms and programs are the only way for Saudi Arabia to remain regionally strong and, if successful, it transforms Saudi Arabia into an unchallenged power in the region. In the social sphere, the situation in Saudi Arabia has improved and conditions will continue to improve, but social freedoms cannot be realized without political freedoms and political freedom undermines the stability of the regime in Saudi Arabia. As far as Iran is concerned, Iran has no incentive to curb Saudi development, and it does not seem logical. Of course, if Saudi Arabia succeeds and develops, it will also have positive effects on Iran, and the developed neighbor will be far better than the poor and instable one.

 

Saudi development can lead to the promotion of the discourse and the need for change in the country. At the same time, Saudi failure in economic projects, although it could undermine its aggressive approach, will have some unpleasant outcomes for the region as a whole. In the security context, the Saudis are seeking to halt Iran's actions and investments. It is obvious that the possibility of a widespread exposure with Saudi Arabia is unlikely to lead to regional security threats, but there is room for understanding in some areas and crises in the region.

 

Confidence building; uniformity in the foreign policy of the country; making coalition and developing relations with Saudi rivals are measures that can protect Iran from the damages caused by Saudi oppositions and hostilities. In the international arena, the improvement of relations and the development of political and economic ties with various countries, especially the Western countries and the great powers, can neutralize Saudi Arabia's efforts to make a consensus against Iran.

 

In the field of public diplomacy in the regional level, Saudi Arabia's approach to the issue of Palestine and its accompanying with Israel can also reveal the true Saudi image in the public opinion.

 

“ Saudi Arabia; Struggling for Controlled Changes ”