The former ambassador to NATO and ISPI advisor: “Meanwhile, China remains on the sidelines”
The phone call between Mohammed bin Salman and Ebrahim Raisi “plays against Israel, the rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia would not in itself be a negative signal, but it is with respect to the crisis between Hamas and the Jewish State”. Stefano Stefanini, ISPI advisor and former ambassador to NATO, thus reads the contact between the Saudi crown prince and the Iranian president, the first since the agreement for the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries in March, facilitated by China. Which “remains on the sidelines, waiting to understand whether this crisis will allow it to gain ground in the Middle East”.
The contact between Raisi and Mbs, underlines Stefanini speaking to Adnkronos, “is another collateral effect of the Hamas attack, which on the one hand makes the attempt to reach an agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia more problematic, on the The other brings Riyadh and Tehran closer, at least verbally, on the common ground of the Palestinian cause or at least the protection of the civilian population of Gaza.” It is a signal, the ambassador insists, which “puts even more difficulty for the Jewish State, which finds itself unable to do nothing against Hamas and at the same time sees normalization with Saudi Arabia receding, which instead it appears more reconciled with Iran.”
In recent months, it was China that promoted that rapprochement between the two ‘godfathers’ of the Sunni world and the Shiite world, which in this crisis for the moment “remains on the sidelines: it has so far had a very modest reaction to the massacre caused by Hamas “. According to Stefanini, “the Chinese calculation is probably that this crisis could give it the opportunity to strengthen its influence on the countries of the Gulf and the Middle East and for this reason it is also ready to sacrifice its relationship with Israel”.
And then there is Russia, which is also interested “in deriving the greatest possible benefit from this situation”, in which there could be a reduction in aid to Ukraine, the ambassador underlines, in addition to the fact that “it could recover support in Arab world and strengthen the alliance with Iran”. Stefanini, however, tends to exclude a role for Moscow in Hamas’ action: “It seems to me to be one of the conspiracy theories in which we too often indulge. Informing the Russians of what the terrorist group was preparing would have put the secrecy of the operation at risk. Let’s not forget that Benyamin Netanyahu and Vladimir Putin had excellent relations. Of course, the Russian president did not call the Israeli prime minister after last Saturday’s attack, he is maintaining an attitude of equidistance between Israelis and Palestinians because he still wants to gain the maximum possible advantage from this crisis, but from here to imagine a Russian hand….”.