US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson requested that Saudi Arabia and Iraq to come together to counter Iran. He also said that Iranian-supported militias in Iraq should be expelled from the country. Tillerson appealed to countries, including European nations, to stop doing business with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

According to a story first published in the Washington Post, Tillerson believed that a prosperous Iraq was the best antidote to Iran’s belligerence. The US Secretary of State urged the Saudi King and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider-al-Abadi to support each other as he expressed his satisfaction.

Two of the most significant developments include reopening one of the major crossings along its border, and direct flights resuming from Riyadh to Baghdad.

President Trump's Iran policy

Tillerson hopes that the relationship will progress further since it is crucial to enhance the prosperity and security of the region. The significance of the meeting was part of the U.S.’ new strategy to encourage the formation of a new alliance against Iran’s domination.

President Trump's election to the White House sent a clear message to Iran that things were going to change in the region. Iran and its nuclear ambitions were one of the critical points of Trump's election campaign. The Republican president has always been vocal about how poorly the Barack Obama administration failed in handling Iran's threats.

The Saudi-Iraqi coalition against Iran

This new initiative comes against the backdrop of Iraq having rebuilt some of the regions freed from the Islamic State militants. They also have to contend with Turkish demands for independence. Iraq and Saudi Arabia have a long and checkered history behind them, but their leaders were optimistic.

Notably, a Shia Iraq and a Sunni Saudi Arabia have long had a fractured relationship, which dates back to Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

The two nations have since endeavored to improve relations. Saudi Arabia reopened its embassy in Bagdad in 2015 after a gap of twenty-five years, but suspicions remain, and Iran’s forays in the semi-autonomous northern Kurdish area have complicated matters.

Also, Saudi Arabia has growing influence on Iran, and to counter this, they call Iraq a fellow Arab country to distinguish it from Iran. The focus now is to increase trade with Iraq through Saudi Arabia investments that could help rebuild Mosul and other cities destroyed by the George W. Bush administration.