0603 GMT September 25, 2017
These events took place as high tensions and security conditions have dominated the Persian Gulf while next month’s presidential election has influenced Iran’s political atmosphere.
The first event pertains to breaking an impasse between Tehran and Riyadh over dispatching Iranian pilgrims to this year’s hajj rituals.
The second one revolves around diplomatic talks between the Islamic Republic and Kuwait over tensions between Tehran and the regional Arab nations.
And the third event is remarks by Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifah, in support of talks between Iran and Kuwait.
In the face of Iran’s domestic policies, breaking the impasse to send Iranian pilgrims to Mecca and Medina is a very important issue. But the move can only be a ‘good will’ gesture. This is because the issue is rooted in deep differences between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Such differences have adversely affected the political atmosphere in the region, particularly in the Persian Gulf.
Among the above-mentioned events, the remarks of the Bahraini foreign minister bear greater significance.
During a visit to Kuwait, Sheikh Khaled said talks between Iran and the Persian Gulf Arab countries, mediated by Kuwait, will continue. He also said that Manama supports the endeavors made by the Kuwaiti emir for joint consultations, hoping that these consultations will be followed by positive results.
The comments were the most moderate and most positive stance adopted by a Bahraini official toward Iran over the past six years.
However, as Tehran’s disputes with Arab nations remain unresolved, such statements do not necessarily mean that Iran and Bahrain have begun to settle their differences.
Meanwhile, the remarks of Bahrain’s top diplomat is seen as a signal which can lay the ground for easing regional tensions.
The approaches adopted by Kuwait and Bahrain indicate that an atmosphere has been created to settle some of the differences between Iran and the regional Arab nations.
Iran and Arab nations must realize that they cannot overcome their differences in a blink of an eye.
Instead, they should adhere to diplomatic methods to arrive at a consensus based on their strategic and security concerns.