Source: British Parliament News
26 August 2019
The International Relations Committee is holding several evidence sessions on Iran-Saudi Arabia tensions, following up on its 2017 report, The Middle East: time for new realism.
In this report the Committee described the rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia as a ‘cold war’ and concluded the rivalry was “mostly … political in nature” and that the rivalry did not serve “the interests of the international community”.Since the report there have been several developments that have affected Iran-Saudi relations, including increased US support for Saudi Arabia and the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, the increased stability of the Iran-aligned Syrian regime since the ‘defeat’ of Da’esh, the efforts to achieve a diplomatic solution to the war in Yemen, the increased tensions in the Strait of Hormuz and the assassination of Jamal Kashoggi.
Wednesday 4 September in Committee Room 4, Palace of Westminster
Alistair Burt MP, former Minister of State for the Middle East, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Minister of State at the Department for International Development (2017-2019)
Lord Lamont of Lerwick, Chairman, British Iranian Chamber of Commerce
Professor Ali Ansari, Director of the Institute of Iranian Studies and Professor of Modern History, University of St Andrews
Dr Sanam Vakil, Senior Research Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House
Issues to be discussed include:
The current levels of tensions in the Gulf and whether a US war with Iran is likely.
The extent to which the shift in US foreign policy under President Trump has affected the Iran-Saudi relationship.
Whether it is still possible to save the Iran nuclear deal, and if not, how its collapse would affect regional and international security.
To what extent Saudi Arabia plays a significant role in recent tensions, and how the current situation is viewed from Riyadh.
The effectiveness of the UK Government’s response to both the challenges to the Iran nuclear deal and to subsequent rising tensions in the Gulf.
The extent to which the UK and its likeminded partners in Europe can play a significant role in alleviating tensions between Iran and the US and between Iran and Saudi Arabia.