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Raisi to enter maze of regional factors in guiding diplomacy with Riyadh

Iran’s incoming president, Ebrahim Raisi, says he will focus on regional ties, particularly Gulf Arab neighbors.
Morteza Nikoubazl/NurPhoto via Getty Images

In his first presser since the June 18 election, Iran’s President-elect Ebrahim Raisi announced that Tehran wants closer regional ties and that priority will be given to improving ties with Gulf Arab neighbors. After Iran fell out with Saudi Arabia in 2016, and the two have been engaged in talks hosted by Baghdad since April of this year.

In the days ahead, there may be many new challenges for Iran as the region is only getting more complicated. Ideally, Iran and Saudi Arabia would manage to restore ties before any new issues arise. And since Raisi has more clout in Iran’s Supreme National Security Council than his predecessor President Hassan Rouhani, he can play a decisive role.

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