Russia Ready to Mediate Between Iran, Saudi Arabia

Russia Ready to Mediate Between Iran, Saudi ArabiaRussia Ready to Mediate Between Iran, Saudi Arabia

Russia is ready to serve as an intermediary to resolve the dispute between Saudi Arabia and Iran that saw the kingdom break off diplomatic relations with Tehran, a Russian Foreign Ministry source told AFP on Monday.

“Russia is ready to serve as an intermediary between Riyadh and Tehran,” the source said, without providing any specifics about Moscow’s potential role in resolving the crisis.

Another unnamed Russian diplomatic source quoted by TASS news agency said Moscow was ready to host the Saudi and Iranian foreign ministers -- Adel al-Jubeir and Mohammad Javad Zarif -- for talks.

“If our partners Saudi Arabia and Iran show they are ready and willing (to meet), our initiative will remain on the table,” the source said. Riyadh announced Sunday it was severing ties to Tehran after Iran reacted strongly against the kingdom’s execution of Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister David Cameron said Monday tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia were “hugely concerning” and condemned the death penalty following Riyadh’s controversial execution of a Shiite cleric.

“It is hugely concerning because of course we want to see stability in the Middle East ... not least because that will be absolutely essential for solving the crisis in Syria which is the source of so many of these problems,” Cameron said on a visit to east London.

“We condemn and do not support the death penalty in any circumstances and that includes Saudi Arabia ... we always make representations on the death penalty and the foreign office ministers made it very clear on this occasion.”