Iran FM lauds high-ranking Saudi official’s remarks

March 6, 2022 - 22:27

TEHRAN - On Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian stated that recent comments by a senior Saudi official indicate a readiness by Riyadh to reestablish ties, saying that Iran appreciates such remarks.

“The recent remarks of a high-ranking Saudi official show their desire to establish bilateral relations with Iran, and we welcome that,” Amir Abdollahian told state news agency IRNA.

He said Iran and Saudi Arabia have so far held four rounds of and “we are happy with Saudi Arabia taking the path of dialogue.”

The Iranian administration, led by President Ebrahim Raisi, is determined to improve relations with neighboring countries, the foreign minister added. 

In an interview published last week, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told the Atlantic that his kingdom and Iran were "neighbors forever."

"We cannot get rid of them, and they can't get rid of us," he said, according to a transcript issued by the official Saudi Press Agency.

"So it's better for both of us to work it out and to look for ways in which we can coexist," he added, expressing hope that "we can reach a position that's good for both countries."

Following the execution of famed Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr by the kingdom in 2016, angry protesters attacked the Saudi embassy in Tehran and its consular office in Mashhad.

Though the attacks were condemned by senior Iranian officials, Riyadh severed relations with Tehran.

However, since April, the two countries have had four rounds of talks in Iraq aimed at restoring ties.

“These talks created a good atmosphere and brought results, albeit small ones, and we are pleased that Saudi Arabia has taken the path of dialogue,” Iran's top diplomat said.

“We have different views and approaches on some issues in the region, but the management of differences by the sides can serve the interests of the two nations,” he added.

Amir Abdollahian said Tehran and Riyadh have opposing views on regional problems, but managing those disagreements may benefit both countries.

Iran and Saudi Arabia differ greatly over the Yemen war.

Amir Abdollahian stated that a solution to Yemen's seven-year-old war must be “political and based on Yemeni-Yemeni dialogue, away from foreign interference.”

Iraj Masjedi, Iran's ambassador to Iraq, has announced that the fifth round of Iran-Saudi talks would be held in Baghdad soon.
Recently, Amir Abdollahian said that Iran welcomes a new round of talks with Saudi Arabia.

“We have left the path open for Saudi Arabia. Whenever Saudi Arabia decides to return its diplomatic relations with Iran to normal, we welcome a reopening of embassies and the return of relations to normal and even development of relations with Saudi Arabia. We are pleased that three of our diplomats were stationed in Jeddah a few weeks ago,” the foreign minister told a national conference on Iran and neighbors.

Noting that the ball is in Riyadh’s court, the foreign minister added, “Saudi Arabia must now decide when to open the embassies of the two countries. We welcome the new round of talks, and we would also like to point out that long talks do not necessitate a return to normal relations alone, but a political decision. We in the government have decided that Saudi Arabia can take the necessary steps to restore relations with Iran whenever it reaches a conclusion.”

Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein announced during a visit to Tehran that talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia in Baghdad would resume soon.

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