EghtesadOnline: Iran should welcome détente with regional countries, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, because such an attitude would give the country the upper hand amid tensions with the United States, a senior lawmaker said.
"Some regional countries such as Saudi Arabia and particularly the UAE have adopted different stances compared to the past, which signals a green light for détente in the region," Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh also told ISNA in a recent talk.
Asharq Al-Awsat recently quoted Saudi Ambassador to the United Nations Abdallah al-Mouallimi as saying that the time is always suitable for diplomatic initiatives with Iran, provided that a common ground is found based on international law and treaties.
The UAE, a key member of the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen, is scaling back its military presence there, which move, according to Reuters, could pave the way for negotiations on a political framework to end the four-year-old civil war in the impoverished country, according to Financial Tribune.
Falahatpisheh, a member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said these two regional powers have come to the realization that they would also suffer from regional insecurity and instability.
"Now that Arab countries are moving toward some kind of détente, Iran should also welcome an easing of tensions with countries in its neighborhood," he said.
The lawmaker believes that such an attitude could give Iran an advantage over the United States whose foreign policy is fraught with tensions with other governments and international organizations.
“The biggest weak spot in the administration of US President Donald Trump has been the failure to manage tensions,” Falahatpisheh said, stressing that for the same reason, Iran should embrace a decrease in regional tensions.
Kamal Dehqani, another member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, also said "interaction" and "cooperation" are the best strategy that could be pursued by Tehran and regional Arab states.
“The government in Tehran has always sought to help create a climate of regional détente and promote Middle East security in cooperation with other influential regional players,” ISNA quoted Dehqani as saying.
"Iran has a vision for long-term economic cooperation with regional countries as war and insecurity are not supposed to last forever in our region. The Islamic Republic of Iran sees its national interests and those of other regional nations in long-term economic cooperation."
The lawmaker added that to have a prosperous region, Saudi Arabia should make decisions independent of the United States and stop helping Washington advance its agenda in the region, including in Yemen, Syria and Iraq.
Saudi Arabia and Iran have been supporting opposite sides in the war in Syria and rival political parties in Iraq and Lebanon. They have also adopted different approaches to the conflict in Yemen.
"If Saudi Arabia wants to have diplomatic relations [with Iran], it should first show its goodwill through actions," Dehqani said.
Riyadh severed diplomatic relations after Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi Embassy in Tehran following the execution of an eminent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr without due process in Saudi Arabia in January 2016.