Can Regional Powers Mediate the Saudi-Iran Conflict?

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Iraqi counterpart Ibrahim al-Jafari, Tehran, Iran, Jan. 6, 2016 (AP photo by Ebrahim Noroozi).
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Iraqi counterpart Ibrahim al-Jafari, Tehran, Iran, Jan. 6, 2016 (AP photo by Ebrahim Noroozi).

As the Saudi-Iran crisis lumbers along, featuring new mutual recriminations and a Saudi campaign to line up Muslim support over the past week, two regional states have offered to mediate. Turkey and Iraq are well-positioned, in different but complementary ways, to engage both parties and try to defuse the situation. But their current leaders, no matter how well-intentioned, are unlikely to influence Saudi or Iranian behavior, unless Riyadh and Tehran decide they need to start looking for a way out of their standoff. The crisis provoked by the Saudi execution of Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr on Jan. 2 has not […]

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