The real-politik of the region is that Israel has never posed a threat to Islam or Arab nationalism. It's the possible spread of democracy from Israel that Arab leaders have long feared. Shiite Iran, on the other hand, sees itself as leader of the mainly Sunni Islamic world and wants to take that honour away from the Saudis. Israel now seems a much lesser of two evils to the Saudi Royal Family...one that could help them curb Iran's ambitions.
The destruction of Syrian chemical weapons (CW) has started. In a breakthrough moment in Iran-US relations, the two Presidents talked on the phone and the foreign ministers sat down to discuss Iran's nuclear programme. Though the connection has received little comment in the western news media, these two welcome developments are deeply linked and close to inter-dependent.
Being a self-appointed observer and satirist of all things political, there are times when your zest is terminally dampened. Collective missteps by those who seem hell-bent on deciding our collective direction would do that to you. It all becomes especially worrisome with the increasing evidence these so-called leaders may not possess the necessary talent or character.
I can't help wondering what six Kurdish men currently facing execution in Ghezel Hesar Prison near Tehran might think of the praise being heaped on Rouhani? Like numerous other condemned prisoners in Iran, they face the gallows after being convicted of vaguely-worded offences, including "enmity against God" and "corruption on earth".
Across the world, the contentious debate over the future of nuclear power continues apace. In East Asia, for instance, it emerged last month that a nuclear plant in Taiwan may have been leaking radio-active water for three years. Meanwhile, Japan is still struggling to contain radio-active water from Fukushima; and in South Korea prosecutors are conducting a huge investigation into forged nuclear safety certificates.
The eyes of the world are focused on the UN in New York this week in an amazing turnabout in international politics. We could have been in the midst of a Middle East war with the US and France having attacked Syria, triggering resumed fighting across the border of southern Lebanon and Israel. Instead, the UN is back on centre stage, the Security Council is functioning again, and its five permanent powers are in a constructive dialogue over chemical weapons in Syria for the first time in two and a half years.
You have to hand it to the new Iranian President. The Washington Post op ed, the NBC interview. Ahead of Rouhani's much anticipated visit to New York for the UN General Assembly, he's got the world singing his tunes. All the right buzz words are there: "peace and stability among all nations", "win-win game", "friendship and dialogue."