Stable Region Contingent on Tehran-Riyadh Coop.

Stable Region Contingent on Tehran-Riyadh Coop.Stable Region Contingent on Tehran-Riyadh Coop.

A former diplomat said restoration of stability to the region is tied to Iran and Saudi Arabia turning to negotiation and cooperation to address regional conflicts.

"To restore stability to the region, which will be mutually beneficial, Iran and Saudi Arabia have no choice but to negotiate and cooperate," Hossein Mousavian said.

"It would be essential to create a security structure involving Iran and Persian Gulf Arab states," he was quoted as saying by ISNA in a recent debate in Berlin.

Tensions run high between Persian Gulf Arab countries and Iran as they have backed opposing sides to the disputes in the region.

Saudi Arabia is part of the US-led coalition against the self-styled Islamic State terrorists in Syria who have captured large swaths of the Arab country and neighboring Iraq.

Riyadh is also an opponent of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a stance that has put it at odds with Iran, an ally of Assad.

Tehran is allied with the Houthi movement in Yemen, which has been battling forces loyal to Yemen's Saudi-backed fugitive president in a conflict that has killed more than 6,000 people since March 2015.

Iranian-Saudi tensions culminated in Riyadh's announcement of a breakup in bilateral diplomatic ties in early January.

The decision was a reaction to the storming of Saudi Arabia's missions in Iran by protestors outraged over the Saudi execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

Mousavian said authoritarian Arab leaders, along with terrorist groups such as IS, are largely to blame for the instability plaguing the region.

"The unprecedented instability in the Middle East is mainly rooted in the structural problems of the Arab world's governments," he said.

"Tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia are one of the culprits behind regional instability. However, poverty, corruption, dictatorship, weak governance and denying the public a role in state matters have also contributed to the spread of extremism and instability."