Oct 14, 2019, 6:24 PM
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Imran Khan's success depends on goodwill of Tehran, Riyadh

Tehran, Oct 14, IRNA - An expert on international affairs has said that the credibility of Iran and Saudi Arabia must be maintained to normalize relations, saying that the success of Pakistani PM Imran Khan's efforts depends on the political will and goodwill of Tehran and Riyadh.

In an interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) on Monday, Nozar Shafiei referred to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's visit to Tehran yesterday and said that it seems that Imran Khan's visit and his meeting with President Hassan Rouhani represents two very important possibilities. It is a worrying possibility that he has information that tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia have increased and war between the two countries will occur and Imran Khan has come to Tehran to prevent this war.

The ex-parliamentarian added that the positive possibility of Imran Khan's visit is that Iran and Saudi Arabia, after experiencing a lot of ups and downs in their relations, want to prevent the rise in crisis and escalation so they need to exchange messages through a third party. From this perspective, Imran Khan's visit is a sign of the decline in tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Shafiei attributed the success of Imran Khan's visit to Tehran and the reduction of tensions in Iran-Saudi Arabia relations to Tehran's and Riyadh's perception of the current situation and pressures in the region, stating that the success of Pakistani Prime Minister's trip and efforts depends on Iran’s and Saudi Arabia’s political will and goodwill. If the parties have an understanding that they can behave as they did under the prevailing conditions and pressures, such an approach would not lead to the success of Imran Khan’s efforts.

Pakistan has both regional credibility and good relations with both countries, so it can be a good mediator between Iran and Saudi Arabia because both Tehran and Riyadh trust Islamabad, he said.

Iran, Saudi Arabia must adjust expectations

The professor emphasized that both Iran and Saudi Arabia should consider the efforts of Imran Khan as an opportunity, noting that the rise of crisis is not in the interest of both countries and the region. Both Iran and Saudi Arabia must adjust their expectations. In diplomacy, black and white don't make sense, but it's gray. In such a situation, both countries must work out a win-win relationship to reduce tensions.

Shafiei stated that the range of opportunities is scarce, so they must take advantage of the opportunity created by Imran Khan's efforts to resolve the crisis, reduce tensions and close rank between Tehran and Riyadh.

Credibility of Iran, Saudi Arabia must be upheld

He said about the prerequisites for improving relations between Tehran and Riyadh and noted that given the two countries that have been in constant conflict and are now trying to defuse tensions and melt the ice, it is difficult to imagine which country was proposing to improve relations. In the current situation, the credibility of Iran and Saudi Arabia must also be maintained to normalize relations. If Saudi Arabia is said to be inclined to mediation, and Pakistan has done so, this impression is formed that Riyadh has failed against Tehran or vice versa.

The tension between Tehran and Riyadh is not separate from the tension between Iran and the United States

Shafiei also commented on Pakistan's strive to mediate between Iran-US and noted that Islamabad has the same status in its ties with Riyadh and Tehran as its relations with Tehran and Washington. So the United States thinks Pakistanis can be effective in reducing tensions. This issue has been discussed during Imran Khan's visit to Tehran.

He noted that the tension between Tehran and Riyadh is not separate from the tension between Iran and the US, noting that when it comes to reducing regional tensions, the US comes between. In Imran Khan’s view decrease in tension between Iran and the US will lead to reduction in the tension between Tehran and Riyadh as well.

The former parliamentarian, referring to Iran's approach, said that Tehran's view is that Iran and Saudi Arabia to engage in regional dialogue and cooperation as the basis of Iran's security plan for the region without the presence of trans-regional forces. From this point of view, dialogue with the United States has no place for Iran, and Tehran is inclined to resolve the issue in dialogue with Riyadh.

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