A dialogue between Iran and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states can help address and reduce rhetorical confrontations along the lines of religious identity, which, according to Iran’s narrative, have been the main instrument for recruitment and fundraising for groups like IS. Therefore, an Iran-GCC dialogue could create an atmosphere effective in countering the current sectarian narrative engulfing the region’s crises.
Russia’s intervention in the Syrian war and the West’s increasing attempts to counterbalance Moscow’s involvement means that the possibility of regional countries playing a role in crisis resolution is waning. Although engaging in dialogue and more active diplomacy might not solve anything per se, it can provide regional countries with the mutual trust necessary to constructively engage on crises with more initiative and innovation.
An Arab-Iranian dialogue can create a framework for managing crises that is different from the current approach, which emphasizes the personal nature of interactions. Indeed, one of the main problems in Middle Eastern politics is the personalization of state agendas. This hampers talking, especially in times of crisis. Dialogue can reshape state priorities and override the personal dimension to the extent that confrontation over a particular issue will not bring diplomacy to a complete halt. Thus, dialogue could be the first step in successful crisis management.