Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 6
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
It is unlikely that the rupture of relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran can lead to an open military conflict.
If one recalls the history of relations between Tehran and Riyadh, the peak of these relations was before the Islamic revolution in Iran. After the revolution, the relations with Saudi Arabia weren't friendly anymore.
But there is no doubt that the crisis in relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran will have a negative impact on the neighboring countries, where armed conflicts are raging, and it is primarily Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
Kuwait, 45 percent of which are Shiite muslims, can also face serious political unrests. Political tensions in such countries as Lebanon and Bahrain aren't excluded, either.
Already a number of countries clearly stated that the deterioration of relations between Tehran and Riyadh will negatively impact the entire region.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Jan. 5 urged Tehran and Riyadh not to aggravate relations. He said that Iran and Saudi Arabia are important countries of the Islamic world, and that Turkey is an ally to both Iran and Saudi Arabia.
In addition, France already said that it could become a mediator for the resumption of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia. But no matter how France has sought to mediate between the Arabs and the Persians, Paris lacks real opportunities for such a mediation.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari also said today that Baghdad will be the mediator in the resolution of diplomatic crisis between Iran and Saudi Arabia. But Iraq, as is known, is already a ground for disputes for Iran and Saudi Arabia.
The US, Russia and the Western countries also can not be mediators between the Kingdom and the Islamic Republic on the issue of the resumption of relations.
The question arises: which country can act as a mediator if Iran and Saudi Arabia agree to resume the relationship?
Turkey - is a country that has close ties with Saudi Arabia and Iran.
After the visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the kingdom invested $300 million into Turkey's construction sector.
In fact, as a Sunni Muslim country, Turkey could act as a mediator between Tehran and Riyadh, but Iran is unlikely to agree. Some Iranian media outlets have already said that the execution of Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr after President Erdogan's visit to Saudi Arabia is not accidental.
Moreover, Ankara, taking into account cooling of relations with Iran, will unlikely to agree to mediate between Tehran and Riyadh.
Pakistan is the other country that could potentially become a mediator. Being mostly a Sunni country, Pakistan is not hostile towards Iran.
Moreover, previously the country's officials have repeatedly stated that Pakistan maintains a balance in relations with Tehran and Riyadh and Islamabad can mediate for normalization of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Moreover, Pakistan is not at odds with Iran over the Syrian crisis. Pakistan stated throughout the military conflict in Syria that the crisis must be solved politically.
Taking this into account, one can say that as opposed to Turkey, Pakistan can be a real mediator for the resumption of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
But, apparently, Tehran and Riyadh are taking time before the decision to normalize the relations is made.
Rufiz Hafizoglu is the head of Trend Agency's Arabic news service, follow him on Twitter: @rhafizoglu