EghtesadOnline: Iran welcomes any initiative by regional countries to foster cooperation and improve peace and security, Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson said, amid signs of willingness by Persian Gulf Arab states to pursue rapprochement.
"If one day regional countries conclude that they can cooperate with Iran for the peace and security of the region, their own countries and the world, the Islamic Republic's arms are open and it will welcome [the approach] without delay,” Abbas Mousavi also told ISNA on the sidelines of a students’ event in Tehran on Thursday.
He added that Tehran would fully approve any change of approach by countries that had a wrong understanding about Iran, "especially regional countries that are a high priority of our foreign policy".
Mousavi made the remarks in response to ISNA's question about a possible policy shift by Persian Gulf Arab states toward Iran, Financial Tribune reported.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE, two allies of the United States and Iran's major rivals in the region, have been at odds with Tehran over a range of issues.
In the recent standoff between Tehran and Washington over the 2015 nuclear deal, they tended to follow the US agenda.
Sign of Reconciliation
Recently, however, they have been showing signs of reconciliation.
In a tweet last week, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash noted that Emirati and Saudi governments are willing to resolve their differences with Iran through diplomacy rather than confrontation.
Emirati Foreign Ministry officials have reportedly visited Tehran in recent months and the two countries have resumed consular relations.
In a rare move, Iranian and Emirati coastguard officials also held a meeting in Tehran recently.
The UAE was engaged in a coalition led by Saudi Arabia against the Iran-aligned Houthi movement in Yemen, but has now announced a military drawdown plan. It has been interpreted by some analysts as a sign of their readiness to enter into talks with Tehran.
Saudi Arabia has refrained from taking any harsh stance against Iran despite tensions in the Persian Gulf, for which the US has blamed Iran without evidence.
Officials from the two countries have also held talks on resuming umrah (a minor pilgrimage to Mecca, which can be undertaken at any time of the year) after it had been suspended for nearly four years.
These developments, according to Ahmad Alireza Beigi, a lawmaker, could "mark a new era in Iran's relations with Persian Gulf states", ICANA reported.
Beigi said these countries, which had aligned themselves with Iran hawks, seem to be distancing themselves from American-Israeli policies.
“Iran, however, needs to improve its media moves and take effective measures in international events to prevent the US from ruining these prospects,” he added.