This website is an archive of the work of Marietje Schaake in the European Parliament between 2009 and 2019. Marietje can be reached at

Media (Carnegie Europe) - Judy Asks: Will Iran and Saudi Arabia Go to War?

iran-saudi-arabia A selection of experts answer a new question from Judy Dempsey at Carnegie Europe on the foreign and security policy challenges shaping Europe’s role in the world. Please find the response by Marietje Schaake below and the full article here.

Judy Asks: Will Iran and Saudi Arabia Go to War?

Marietje Schaake, Vice chair of the European Parliament Delegation for Relations With the United States War between Tehran and Riyadh would be irrational, and the blame game of who escalated first should stop. There are many reasons to be concerned about the reckless acts of Saudi Arabia and Iran alike, particularly in a Middle East that already sees so much bloodshed. World leaders were quick to seek de-escalation, even before Saudi leaders cut off trade and airline connections with Iran. There is too much at stake, particularly when it comes to the urgent need to end the war in Syria, for which both Iran and Saudi Arabia need to be fully on board. The tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia come at a time when both Europe and the United States are increasingly reluctant to treat Iran as a pariah, while Saudi Arabia has been a “partner.” But it is a partner that does not take advice even from its U.S. ally, which warned against executing Shia Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. The results of cooperating with Saudi Arabia should be reassessed. When German intelligence warned in December 2015 of the dangers of the reckless new leadership in Riyadh, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier reiterated that this statement did not reflect German foreign policy toward the kingdom. It should. In fact, the entire EU should reassess its partnership with Saudi Arabia. It should build a more even-handed approach toward both Iran and Saudi Arabia, one based on principles.
See also: 08-12 Written Question on exports of sensitive military materials to Iran, Myanmar, Sudan and Syria 30-11 Written Questions on the EU-Saudi Arabia relationship 26-11 Letter on the imminent executions of Ali al-Nimr and Dawood al-Marhoun among other 55 Saudis 29-10 MEP: Sakharov prize supports Raif Badawi and his fight for freedom 21-09 MEPs respond to the appointment of Saudi Arabia’s ambassador at the UN Human Rights Council 09-09 Plenary speech on the Iran nuclear agreement 14-07 MEP: Deal with Iran removes important hurdle for broader agenda 22-06 EU must condemn the death penalty, always and everywhere 08-06 Blog: Visit to Iran 16-06 MEP: Saudi Arabia must pardon Raif Badawi 09-04 EU must prioritize human rights in Iran after Lausanne 02-04 Marietje Schaake responds to Iran framework deal