An aerial view of Doha's diplomatic area, March 21, 2013.
Fadi Al-Assaad / Reuters

In May, in an hour-long interview aired on state television, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman declared that dialogue with Iran was “impossible.” The Shiite republic could not be trusted, he warned, since its foreign policy was guided by the messianic aim of converting and controlling the entire Muslim world. The prince’s fiery rhetoric, however much it dashed hopes that the two geopolitical rivals could reach a settlement in their standoffs in Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere, was of course not surprising. With the exception of Oman and to a lesser extent Kuwait and

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