Iran says seeks meaningful ties with Saudi Arabia 

March 7, 2022 - 18:49

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday that disputes between Iran and Saudi Arabia as an important country in the region and the Muslim world should not prevent Tehran and Riyadh from having a minimum of meaningful relations.

Khatibzadeh made the remarks in response to a question on the recent remarks by Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in his lengthy interview with The Atlantic in which he spoke favorably of the possibility of patching up relations between Tehran and Riyadh. 

Speaking at a weekly press conference, the spokesman refrained from responding in detail to the question and referred to the reaction of the Iranian foreign minister, Hossein Amir Abdollahian. “Our Foreign Minister expressed the position of the Islamic Republic of Iran and expressed his views in specific statements,” he said. 

Khatibzadeh said relations between Saudi Arabia would benefit the people of the region. “The main beneficiaries of these relations are the people of the region and the people of the two countries.”

He added, “The talks in Baghdad have continued in a good, respectful and positive atmosphere in the last four rounds. Of course, I would like to emphasize that tangible results have not been achieved from these talks to date, and the results have been limited. In the fifth round, we must try to translate the understandings that we had in some areas into results.”

He noted, “The date of the fifth round is not yet final. But it is the will of both parties to hold the next meeting. If Saudi Arabia comes to Baghdad with the firm will to achieve a good result from these talks, the Islamic Republic of Iran is also ready to speed up the establishment of relations between the two countries.”

Earlier, Ebrahim Azizi, deputy chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, urged the Saudi crown prince to pursue dialogue with neighbors.
In remarks to the Islamic Consultative Assembly News Agency (ICANA), Azizi said bin Salman’s remarks that Saudi Arabia needs peaceful coexistence with Iran is right.

“Mohammad bin Salman made right remarks but he was expected to make such remarks earlier,” Azizi said.

He added, “The Islamic Republic of Iran has repeatedly stated in recent years that the countries of the region should resolve their differences and problems through dialogue, not follow the path drawn by foreign countries.”

Iran’s top security official, Ali Shamkhani, has explained the goal of Tehran’s negotiations with Saudi Arabia, reminding it that Israel is the biggest enemy of the Islamic and Arab worlds.

He said that “Iran's active participation in bilateral talks with Saudi Arabia - hosted by Iraq - stems from the Islamic Republic’s principled strategy for [fostering] cooperation & amity with neighbors based on securing bilateral and regional interests.”

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