Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif sits during a meeting at United Nations headquarters, Monday, April 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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Iran's foreign minister said Monday that neither Iran nor Saudi Arabia can be the dominant power in the Middle East and what's needed most is for countries in the Gulf region to talk to each other – not about each other.Zarif expressed hope that Iran's neighbors, with help from other governments, can also appreciate the fact that "none of us can become the new hegemon" in the region.He called for a new "regional dialogue forum" that would include five Gulf Cooperation Council countries along with Iran, Iraq and Yemen. Zarif's comments followed the annual Arab League summit on April 15 where Saudi Arabia used its position as host to push for a unified stance by the 22-nation bloc against Iran, blaming Tehran for instability and meddling in the region.Zarif said Iran believes the region is suffering from "a dialogue deficit" and that's why it has suggested creating "a regional dialogue forum".Zarif said countries in the region need to stop talking about exclusion and enemies.In addition to the "dialogue deficit," Zarif said there is also "a confidence deficit".
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