Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh is shown on October 2 at Russian Energy Week 2019 in Moscow. (Valery SharifulinTASS via Getty Images)

Riyadh and Tehran: A New Paradigm? (AUDIO INTERVIEW)

Some say the latest Mideast policy twist that has two archenemies speaking will reduce the risk of war – though others counsel caution

The oil ministers for Saudi Arabia and Iran reportedly met in Moscow on Sunday in the latest surprise move since the United States backed off responding to Iranian provocations.

“I told him we have been friends for 22 years, a friendship that has outlived all the ups and downs in Iranian-Saudi relations, and that I had no trouble meeting with him,” the Iranian Mehr news agency quotes Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh as saying about his Saudi counterpart, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman.

“They must not regard us as their enemy,” Zangeneh told Mehr, referring to the Saudis. “The enemy is outside of the region.”

To learn more, Mohammad Al-Kassim, The Media Line’s Middle East bureau chief, spoke with Hussein Ibish, a senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, and a weekly columnist for Bloomberg and The National news outlets.

The way Ibish sees it, both Riyadh and Tehran – as well as Washington – are looking for an “off ramp” from the spike in Gulf tensions.

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