Washington should understand the risks of the collapse of deterrence but also see the opportunities provided by Saudi normalization with Iran and a possible deal between Saudi Arabia and Israel. Taken together, these two normalization tracks could form the foundation of a regional security framework. While it is unrealistic to think that Israel and Iran would ever engage directly or even agree on a common framework, Saudi Arabia could serve as a bridge informally connecting the two countries. Amid all of the risk and destruction created by the Gaza war, this would be a net positive for Washington and the broader Middle East.
Ross Harrison is a Senior Fellow at the Middle East Institute. He is also on the faculty of the Political Science Department at the University of Pittsburgh, where he teaches courses in Middle Eastern politics. He was on Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service faculty for over fifteen years. Harrison is under contract to write a book on Iran’s foreign policy and has authored four books and numerous articles related to the Middle East.