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EghtesadOnline: Iran will most likely welcome Russia's proposal to help open dialogue between Iran and Arab countries through the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a political analyst said.

"Iran has always welcomed warm-heartedly and with a positive view plans that help expand its relations with neighbors, including Persian Gulf states," Reza Sadr Hosseini said in a recent interview with ISNA. 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday that he had reached agreement with the OIC chief on the need to start dialogue between Iran and Arab countries, according to Financial Tribune.

"We have confirmed our proposal to start dialogue between Iran and Arab countries aimed at trust building, transparency in military activities and finally, for the talks on the formation of a collective security architecture," Lavrov said at a press conference after the talks with OIC Secretary-General Yousef Al-Othaimeen, Sputnik reported.

A number of Persian Gulf Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia have been at odds with Iran which, according to Hosseini, goes back to their support for executed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein through OIC when the Arab country was at war with Iran in the 1980s. 

"Throughout this period, Iran has acted based on the principle of good neighborliness and its foreign policy priorities, trying to minimize its differences with these countries to … pave the way for regional development and security," he said.



Saudi Reluctance 

Saudi Arabia, however, has refused to welcome the initiative and pursued policies "dictated from outside of the region", the analyst said, an implicit reference to the United States, a close ally of Riyadh. 

Other Saudi allies followed suit, according to Hosseini, making it impossible to foster regional cooperation, which resulted in increased insecurity and further trans-regional interference. 

On the other hand, a number of other regional countries aligned themselves with Iran's policy directions, consequently moving away from OIC and making it a more fragile organization, he added. 

"There have been acts of mediation and in all cases, Iran … has expressed readiness for brotherly and intimate talks to ensure regional security and development," he said. 

The analyst noted that foreign policy analysts predict that the Islamic Republic will respond similarly to the recent Russian proposal, "but there is no certainty about the reaction of the other side, although one could not abandon all hope". 

Hosseini said the odds of Saudi Arabia endorsing the idea of rapprochement have improved, as it is currently beset by a raft of conflicts, particularly the Yemen war, which it is willing to end, according to unofficial reports.


Iran Tehran Organization of Islamic Cooperation Russian Mediation Dialogue With Arabs open dialogue Arab countries Reza Sadr Hosseini