Larijani welcomes Mohammed bin Salman’s desire for talks

October 1, 2019

TEHRAN – Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani has welcomed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s willingness to resolve disputes with Iran through talks, saying Iran’s doors are open to the Saudis.

“We welcome Mohammed bin Salman being quoted as saying he wants to resolve issues through talks with Tehran,” Al Jazeera quoted Larijani as saying, according to Reuters.

The Saudi crown prince had said he preferred a political resolution rather than a military one to the issues with Iran in an interview with the CBS program “60 Minutes” broadcast on Sunday.

A war with Iran would lead to “a total collapse of the global economy”, he said, as he called for a political solution and backed talks between U.S. President Donald Trump and Iran’s leaders.  

“The political and peaceful solution is much better than the military one,” he added.

Larijani said if Iran and Saudi Arabia hold talks, many of the region’s security and political problems would be resolved.

“We want to create a security system in the Persian Gulf with cooperation of all Persian Gulf states,” ISNA quoted Larijani as saying.

Tensions in the Persian Gulf have heightened following a September 14 attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil fields, which the Saudis and their Western allies, especially the U.S., blamed on Iran.

Iran has rejected the claim and called it a “great deceit” in line with “great pressure” campaign on the Islamic Republic.

Yemen’s Houthi movement has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The Islamic Republic has warned Washington that any military action against Iran will lead to an “all-out war”.

Larijani advised the Houthis to agree to any ceasefire with Riyadh and told the Saudis that a ceasefire will benefit them as well.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the parliament speaker said talks with Washington is not haram (forbidden) but the U.S. needs to lift the sanctions first. 

President Trump abandoned the nuclear deal in May 2018 and imposed the harshest ever sanctions on Tehran. However, the U.S. president has been repeatedly calling for dialogue with Iran.

Iran argues that it makes no sense to hold talks with the United States as long as sanctions are in place.

“From the viewpoint of the government, parliament and the people of Iran, negotiations with the United States make no sense when sanctions remain,” Rouhani said in a phone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron last month.

MH/PA

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