Tehran, Riyadh Can Play Complementary Role to Promote Regional Security, Stability

Tehran, Riyadh Can Play Complementary Role to Promote Regional Security, Stability
Tehran, Riyadh Can Play Complementary Role to Promote Regional Security, Stability

Tehran and Riyadh as two regional heavyweights can complement each other’s capacities toward providing regional security, stability and development, an Iranian expert said. 
“Iran and Saudi Arabia cannot have an eliminatory view of each other,” Kamal Kharrazi, head of Iran’s Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, was quoted as saying by ISNA.
He was addressing a research conference titled “The Arabs and Iran” in Doha on May 21-23, which was co-organized by the Al Jazeera Centre for Studies. 
Highlighting the Islamic Republic’s general policy of unity with Islamic nations, Kharrazi said Iran seeks to cooperate with regional countries to help the progress of West Asia, and at a broader level, the Muslim world.
Along this line, Iran attaches great importance to Saudi Arabia, as the qibla of Muslims and home to holy shrines, as well as a great country in the region, he added. 
“Recently, by engaging in five rounds of negotiation with the mediation of the Iraqi government, the two countries have chosen the path of dialogue to resolve their differences,” he said. 
Iran and Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic ties in 2016 after Iranian protesters stormed Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran in response to the kingdom’s execution of Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr. 
They have also been at odds over several regional issues, including in Yemen where the Houthi forces are backed by Tehran, and Riyadh leads a military coalition supporting the former government.
Iraq, a neighbor to both countries, has hosted five rounds of talks over the past year aimed at restoring ties between Tehran and Riyadh. 
Following the latest round in Baghdad, Iraqi officials have sounded increasingly optimistic, talking of an imminent sixth session and even going so far as to raise the prospect of a resumption in diplomatic relations. 
“We are convinced that reconciliation is near,” which would benefit regional stability, said Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who Iraqi diplomats say attended the most recent meeting. 
Kharrazi also said Iran sees dialogue as the most efficient method of addressing misunderstandings, resolving conflicts and increasing areas of agreement. 
“Therefore, it believes that the best solution to security issues in the West Asia and Persian Gulf region is increasing brotherly, but explicit and straightforward talks among regional countries without the presence and interference of foreigners,” he said. 



Ties With Arab World 

The foreign relations official later pointed to the crisis in Yemen, the political problems in Iraq and the Palestinian cause as three other key issues in Iran’s relations with the Arab world.
He reiterated Iran’s stance about Yemen, stressing that the conflict has no military solution. 
“A ceasefire, the end of blockade, providing a platform for Yemeni-Yemeni talks and eventually the establishment of a government arising from the people’s want has been Iran’s principled stance from the first day of the war in Yemen,” he said. 
Iran also supports a strong and popular government in Iraq since the security of the two countries are interlinked, according to Kharrazi.
“We believe that a secure and strong Iraq is in the interest of the security of Iran and the whole region … so we encourage all political parties in Iraq to reach an agreement on the formation of a government,” he said. 
On the issue of Palestine, Kharrazi regretted some Arab countries’ normalization of ties with Israel at a time when countering the crimes of this regime is most essential. 
“The Islamic Republic maintains that the Zionist regime’s presence in the Persian Gulf region will not bring security and stability because Israel has no goal but to create tension in the region and divide its states,” he said.  

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