Can Saudi Arabia and Iran Put Regional Rivalry To Rest?

Regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran may be edging toward a rapprochement. But while this may help to narrow the damaging Sunni-Shi’a schism, it will take more than one high level meeting to set things right.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Sa’ud al-Faisal’s invitation to his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif to visit the kingdom has hinted at the possibility of an imminent thawing in relations be- tween the two regional power houses.

Although the move surprised many in the Middle East, there is a growing belief that talks are both necessary and long overdue. Rapprochement between Riyadh and Tehran would likely have ramifications throughout the Middle East, with successful talks potentially cooling the ongoing conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Bahrain – in which both countries are actively involved – either directly or through proxies. (CONTINUED - 1088 WORDS)