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Iran, Arab States Need  to Bury the Hatchet
National

Iran, Arab States Need to Bury the Hatchet

The development of Iran and the Arab world and prosperity in the Middle East hinge on the two sides putting aside mutual hostility, a former Iranian diplomat cautioned.
"In moving toward a security and cooperation system in the Persian Gulf, leaders in both Saudi Arabia and Iran should be cognizant of the fact that while outside great power intervention in the region may come and go over the years, both countries will remain neighbors forever," Hossein Mousavian wrote in an article published by the Cairo Review magazine on Monday.
"They cannot afford to let animosities between them continue to grow and sow the seeds of perennial conflict. If each country is to reach its potential and prosper, they must live side by side in peace," Mousavian said.

  De-Escalation Steps  
He listed the steps required to defuse tensions and enter into a process of cooperation.
"Riyadh and Tehran must gain a correct understanding of each other's national security threats. The cooperation option should entail Riyadh and Tehran to openly and without preconditions enter into bilateral dialogue and put all of their security concerns and aims on the negotiation table," Mousavian said. Iran and Arab states need to engage in dialogue and Sunni and Shia scholars should convene forums to discuss how to address sectarianism in the Muslim world, he stressed. 
An institutionalized security cooperation system in the Persian Gulf should be negotiated by the foreign ministers of the six member countries of the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council, Iraq, and Iran without preconditions, Mousavian said, citing the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the European Union as potential models. 
"A sustainably peaceful relationship between Iran and the [P]GCC states must be predicated on the principles of non-interference in domestic affairs, respect for territorial integrity, and sovereignty. By adhering to these tenets and engaging in such dialogue, over time these states can move toward broader cooperation in matters of security, economics, culture, military, and politics and foster the creation of a nuclear weapons and WMD-free zone in the Persian Gulf," he added.

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