Iran’s FM says door not closed for dialogue with Saudis 

September 1, 2018

TEHRAN – Tehran has not shut the door to political dialogue with Saudi Arabia, Iran’s foreign minister said on Friday. 

“Our policy is to have good relations with our neighbors, an example of which is ours with the Caspian Sea littoral states… We don’t bring out neighbors into conflict,” Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an interview with president.ir. 

“What we at the Foreign Ministry have defined as the neighborhood or robust regional policy is decent; we do not seek to dominate our neighbors, yet we haven’t accepted being dominated by anyone and we will not accept that [in the future],” the senior diplomat stated.

He voiced disapproval over some neighbors who rely on foreigners for their security. 

“It is unfortunate that [some of] our neighbors have taken refuge to foreigners... Unfortunately, the current Saudi government is not seeking a solution (to settle differences), and even in some cases they are looking for tensions.” 

However, Zarif praised Saudi Arabia’s treatment of Iranian pilgrims this year, describing it as a “good behavior”, hoping the amendment to usher in extended relations.

“We are ready and hope that the positive behavior that they had in Hajj to be extended to other areas of bilateral relations.” 

The foreign minister went on to say that “we certainly welcome their better behavior [towards Iranian nationals] during this year’s Hajj pilgrimage, and if the Saudi government is ready to reasonably enter into a political dialogue, the Islamic Republic of Iran has never shut the door on such a negotiation.” 
 
“We also have to admit that the Saudi government has always separated Hajj from its [political] relations with Iran, particularly in the past two years,” he concluded.  

AFM/SP


 

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