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A fascinating aspect of the escalating feud between Iran and Saudi Arabia is the variety of views and actions by the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Two of them – Saudi Arabia and Bahrain – cut off diplomatic ties with Iran, three others only recalled their ambassadors, and Oman has maintained full diplomatic ties.The reference to "new rules" presumably refers to the urgent need to mend relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which requires a comprehensive review of their mutual accusations.This situation needs mediation of immediate tensions but also a permanent resolution of the Saudi-Iranian concerns that have always seemed to me to be based more on exaggerated threat perceptions than on actual dangers.He and others in the Gulf, such as the Dubai-based Lebanese military analyst Riad Kahwaji, talk of seeking a "grand bargain" to resolve the current dispute that goes beyond the incidents of the past week.This is sensible, given the nature of Saudi-Iranian ties and their impact across the Middle East.
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