Barbara Slavin reports: As desperate migrants from wars in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East keep pouring onto the European continent, it is hard to imagine diplomatic solutions that can diminish this massive exodus anytime soon.
But if the wars are ever to end, one prerequisite is a willingness on the part of Saudi Arabia and its partners in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to discuss these crises with Iran.
During a panel discussion at the Atlantic Council on Monday, Nasser Hadian, a professor of political science at the University of Tehran who is close to the government of President Hassan Rouhani, said Iran has tried to reach out to the Saudis both privately and publicly but that its overtures have so far been rebuffed.
“They [the Saudis] have made up their minds [about Iran] and no matter what is happening, they have their own perspective,” Hadian said. He added that Iran does not regard Saudi Arabia as a threat but the Saudis see Iran as they primary regional foe. “We have to try to put to rest their concerns but that is not an easy thing to do,” Hadian said. [Continue reading…]