Politics doesn’t move according to a specific schedule, and it’s not about static positions. Neither is it a lecture in political philosophy or even the Mearsheimer and Walters theories. It is rather about actions that suit the prevailing situation in tune with the future horizon, while its flow translates the present positions and past incidents.
For this reason, a sagacious politician may ride on a particular wave, and at the same time, find himself with another wave before discovering later that he is neither with this nor that. But he’s only making dangerous moves within the political mines by riding on general interests and specific principles that determine positions. Reverse is not the case.
Few days ago, many keen followers of the situation in the region were surprised to see Commander of the Iranian Border Guard Forces Qasim Rezai holding a meeting with Commander of the UAE Coast Guard Forces Muhammad Ali Muslih Al-Ahbabi in the Iranian capital, Tehran. The news agencies published photos wherein both officials shook hands. Considering status of the meeting, I believe it was to discuss routine issues related to the joint marine borders and whatever concerning fishing in the regional waters, in addition to the usual joint coordination in that regard.
Many people will link the meeting to several regional issues or developments. In reality, it is very possible to link those issues together. However, being cautious of the factors on ground, including the war in Yemen in which the UAE plays a vital role alongside Saudi Arabia where Iran is the main supporter of the opposing warring party (Houthi militias), endless question marks are raised over the meeting. The questions are in order and very well understandable.
In my opinion as a keen observer, I don’t believe that the meeting was held without the knowledge of Saudi Arabia. My perception even goes deeper believing that Saudi Arabia even coordinated with the UAE concerning the meeting and its agenda based on the strong cooperation between both countries. I equally believe that Iran would understand perfectly well – even if it didn’t know about the coordination. This is politics and diplomacy whose language is understood globally.
Of course, we cannot ignore the series of development concerning marine security in the Strait of Hormuz, especially after statements issued by the US President and crises of the Iranian and British tankers (Iranian tanker seized in Gibraltar and the British tanker seized by Iran). It is extremely possible that the effect of those developments has a place in the agenda of the meeting, even if it is just about exchange of viewpoints.
Definitely, all countries that share common borders need to dialogue and coordinate always, so ‘Tehran talks’ could be a stone for stirring stagnant water and the reason for future understanding concerning mutual interests, which sometimes force nations to take certain decisions relevant to public interests. As I have said, the meeting in itself is an achievement that can pass particular messages in the interest of the regional security.
“In our age, there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues.” (George Orwell)
Yousef Awadh Al-Azmi