It’s time for the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Iran to start a dialogue

Hossein Mousavian and Abdulaziz Sager write:

We write as citizens and foreign policy veterans of two countries that most Americans presume are locked in mortal combat: Iran and Saudi Arabia. In fact, after decades of proxy conflict and frozen ties between our countries, we believe now is the time to explore a new foundation for a lasting peace in our region.

Neither of us is a starry-eyed idealist. We are both hardened realists with distrust for one another, and that mistrust is shared at the top levels of our respective governments. At the same time, we have seen the destructive consequences of crises in which our countries side with one or another government or movement involved in a competition for power — for example in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain or Iraq. While we each blame the other side for this pattern, we agree that the net result has been costly, has eroded the confidence of the people our governments serve, and has wasted incalculable resources and countless lives that should have been used to build a new Middle East, rather than tear it down.

The time for dialogue is now, because the situations in the historic conflict zones are ripe for diplomacy. [Continue reading…]

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