Saudis Should Resolve Differences

Saudis Should Resolve Differences Saudis Should Resolve Differences

Iran’s ambassador to Paris in an interview with the French-language magazine Jeune Afrique shed light on some key Middle East issues and called for normalcy in Tehran-Riyadh political ties, IRNA reported Saturday.

On the recent difficulties in Iran- Saudi ties, Ali Ahani said the two countries are “Key players both in the region and in the Muslim world,” should “resolve their differences, concentrate on areas of cooperation, and help the countries of the region.”

Noting that Tehran’s view is “cooperation with Saudi Arabia in the interest of the Islamic world,” he lamented that the oil-kingdom in recent years has resorted to unhelpful approaches in its regional vision. “It is a pity that we witness the Saudis have embarked upon certain attitudes and policies based on erroneous calculations,” the envoy said without going into details.

He urged the government in Riyadh to be realistic and revise its thinking regarding hostility towards Tehran and replace it “with cooperation in an effort to play a constructive role in the region.”

Asked if Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s unprecedented visit to the kingdom in January to attend the funeral ceremony of the late King Abdullah was a “gesture that might be followed by some more sustainable reconciliation,” Ahani said after President Rohani took the office in mod- 2013, such efforts have been made to help remove tensions. He, however, said some circles in the Arab country seek to block “the proper path.”  Calling on the Saudi leadership to tread with caution and not get trapped by such trappings, he reiterated Tehran’s oft-mentioned policy that cordial relations between the “two regional powers is in the common interest of both sides.

  Joint Interest

Pointing to Iran’s positive role both in the Muslim world and in the international arena as a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, the envoy said, “Our strategy in the Middle East has always been based on promoting peace and stability, which obviously are also in our interest.”  

He recalled that Iran as a matter of policy has always defended itself and never attacked anyone. He also referred to the tensions in the region, like in Afghanistan and Iraq, and said whenever tensions have arisen Iran has focused on playing a “constructive and stabilizing role never sought to add fuel to the fire,” as claimed by some hostile western powers and their regional allies.

  Panicky Israel

Asked on Israeli accusations that Iran is a global threat, Ahani said the occupying power is nervous about Iran’s steadfastness on the highly critical issue of Palestine, which he said it resorts to plots and ploys through “all means possible to spread Iranophobia.”

Although some Arab countries have also expressed concern about the deteriorating Palestinian cause, he said, “The Zionist regime is aware that the Iranian people and government are particularly sensitive about Israel’s policy in Palestine, the massacres it commits, and its unacceptable and inhumane racist policy.” Referring to Tel Aviv’s secret nuclear weapons, he said, “Despite hundreds of nuclear warheads, Israel has not been able to do anything about the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance” against the transgressions of the US-backed settlement state.

About the Islamic Republic’s strategy in the crisis-hit Arab countries like Bahrain, Yemen, and Syria, the senior diplomat said, “Iran respects the lofty principle of democracy, i.e. one person, one vote,” saying that once this principle is upheld, most of the crises, particularly in the troubled but strategic region, will be resolved.