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To: DoctorZIn
Iran and Saudi Arabia: Toward Cooperation on al Qaeda

July 28, 2003
Stratfor
Stratfor.com

Saudi Arabia and Iran took an important step toward cooperation against al Qaeda on July 27, a move that will reassure the United States.

Analysis

Cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Iran took an important turn July 27 with an announcement that Riyadh will establish a consulate general in Mashhad, the capital city of Iran's northeastern Khorassan province -- reportedly to facilitate Arab investment in the region.

Though economic development may be on the nations' agenda, a more pressing issue -- dismantling al Qaeda networks in the region -- is the key factor driving cooperation between Riyadh and Tehran. The establishment of a consulate in Khorassan, which borders Afghanistan, will make handovers of suspected militants easier and increase Saudi Arabian intelligence concerning al Qaeda activities in both western Afghanistan and eastern Iran.

The area stretching from Afghanistan and Pakistan eastward across the Persian/Arabian Gulf to Saudi Arabia and Yemen is thick with suspected al Qaeda militants and their allies. Riyadh has been fighting a low-level war against al Qaeda within Saudi territory -- busting cells and moving to shut down the porous southern border with Yemen, a key al Qaeda transit route. The government also is working to hammer out a deal with Tehran, in which Iran would hand over al Qaeda suspects fleeing from Afghanistan. In early July, the two inked a judiciary cooperation agreement after Iranian Chief Justice Ayatollah Mahmud Hashemi-Sharudi paid a six-day visit to the kingdom.

The justice met with both King Fahd and de facto ruler Crown Prince Abdullah before signing the extradition treaty -- the first ever between the Sunni Saudi kingdom and the Shia Iranian government. According to reports, Iran is also working out deals to extradite suspected al Qaeda militants to their home countries of Kuwait and Egypt as well.

In light of the U.S. occupation of Iraq, Riyadh and Tehran are both facing a dramatic shift in the region's geopolitical landscape. At the same time, both are also under increasingly intense pressure from internal opposition. Cooperation between the states might give both governments greater room to manuever in dealing with Washington and with domestic opponents. A unified position over the Muslim world --and especially jihadi and other Islamic militant groups -- also would give the two governments greater leverage in dealing with these groups and thus limit potential sources of state sponsorship for organizations like al Qaeda.

The Bush administration is also eager to gain intelligence about al Qaeda's presence in Iran. At the same time, Iran is happy to deliver militant suspects to their countries of origin rather than face a confrontation with Washington.

The establishment of a Saudi diplomatic consul in Khorrasan is a substantive step in advancing cooperation between all three governments. Riyadh will greatly augment its capacity for gathering intelligence about al Qaeda activity and about transit routes in and out of Afghanistan via Iran. Passing along this information to Washington will reassure the U.S. government about both Saudi loyalty and Iranian intentions. The consulate in Khorrasan will also compromise another avenue of escape for al Qaeda, further impeding its ability to maneuver.

http://www.stratfor.com/corporate/static_index.neo
32 posted on 07/31/2003 11:08:49 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; ...
Iran and Saudi Arabia: Toward Cooperation on al Qaeda

July 28, 2003
Stratfor
Stratfor.com

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/955614/posts?page=32#32

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
33 posted on 07/31/2003 11:10:40 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Late night bump to thank you for all of your posts.

I really appreciate it.

Get some rest! ;o)
37 posted on 07/31/2003 11:38:59 PM PDT by dixiechick2000 ("The Prez is as focused as a doberman on a hambone!"---Dennis Miller)
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