On Wednesday Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz delivered a stern address highlighting the destabilising role Iran is playing in the region.
For far too long, Tehran’s meddling has gone unpunished, but it is time that the country is held accountable for its destructive behaviour.
In his speech, King Salman directly pointed the finger at Tehran for being behind recent attacks against commercial vessels in the Gulf as well as Saudi Aramco’s oil facilities.
“We hope that the Iranian regime will opt for wisdom and realise it cannot overcome the international stance that rejects its practices without abandoning its expansionist and subversive ideology,” he said.
Now, more than ever, Iran finds itself in a considerably weak position.
With antigovernment protests sweeping Lebanon and Iraq (both countries where it holds considerable sway) as well as domestic protests in Iran itself, Tehran needs to re-evaluate its choices.
It is also reeling under US-imposed sanctions which have deprived the country of massive revenue streams that could otherwise be used to prop up its militant proxy groups in Arab countries.
Tehran has tried to raise the stakes ever since the US introduced tough new sanctions. It is clear from Iranian actions that the sanctions are beginning to bite, and the regime in Tehran is acting in anger, in an ever more irresponsible manner.
Iran is reeling under US-imposed sanctions which have deprived the country of massive revenue streams that could otherwise be used to prop up its militant proxy groups in Arab countries
If, in fact, Iran does opt for wisdom, then the Lebanese, Iraqi and Yemeni people will finally get some reprieve.
This especially is true in Yemen, where a civil war pitting Iran-backed Al Houthis with the internationally-recognised government there has cost the Yemeni people dearly.
More than 10,000 people have been killed as a result and the country has faced the brink of famine.
If Iran rethinks its foreign policy, the region will be a better place and its citizens would be able to breathe a sigh of relief — no longer being held hostage to whims of Iran’s leaders.
If it wants to be accepted as a normal country on the world stage, Iran should stop its provocations, and take steps to rectify its position.
The region stands to benefit if the political dispensation in Tehran starts behaving like a normal government, instead of trying to spread mischief while ignoring the financial difficulties of its own long-suffering citizens.
As for the international community, it is incumbent that it maintains maximum pressure against Iran which is finally feeling the repercussions of its destabilising behaviour.