Middle East Peace Demands Joint Saudi-Iranian Actions

Middle East Peace  Demands Joint  Saudi-Iranian Actions Middle East Peace  Demands Joint  Saudi-Iranian Actions

The chairman of the Standing Committee of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties said one of the ways which can lead to lasting peace in the Middle East would be for Iran and Saudi Arabia to act jointly to address regional challenges. 

Speaking at the 29th meeting of ICAPP in Tehran on Saturday, Jose de Venecia said, "Iran, as the leading Shia nation, and Saudi Arabia, as the leading Sunni nation in the Islamic world should increase their efforts to establish peace in the Middle East by taking joint actions," ISNA reported.

"We are seeking to promote peace in the Middle East for which there have been numerous proposed solutions in this conference," he said, adding that Iran-Saudi rapprochement would be an ideal way to reach sustainable peace in the region.

Underlining the strategic significance of the Middle East to global peace, the former speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines said, "Establishing peace in the Middle East has a great effect on peace in other regions too, in particular Africa."

Tehran and Riyadh have seen their relations deteriorated in recent years after the latter decided to break off diplomatic relations in January 2016, after Iranians protested outside the Saudi embassy in Tehran and its consulate in Mashhad in response to the execution of a prominent Shia cleric by the Saudi government.

That followed the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers, which Riyadh feared was a step toward ending Iran's international isolation.

Riyadh's rhetoric on regional issues has increasingly grown more belligerent, including over its diplomatic conflict with its Persian Gulf neighbor Qatar. 

Riyadh and several of its Sunni allies severed diplomatic relations with Qatar in June 2017, accusing Doha of alleged support for extremism and links with Iran.

Analysts said the election as US president a year ago of Donald Trump has also contributed to the rise in tensions.

 Trump's open hostility toward Tehran has released anti-Iranian energies in the Arabian Peninsula and emboldened Riyadh.

However, there have been positive signs indicating the two regional rivals could bridge their gaps. Iranians took part in the annual hajj pilgrimage last year after a one-year hiatus—due to uncooperative Saudi stances.

In addition, Iran has always remained open to dialogue, saying that Riyadh's irrational fear of Tehran is in fact a plot instigated mostly by US charges against the Islamic Republic just to keep the two Muslim powerhouses apart from each other.

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