Saudi Ties Need to Revert to Normal

Saudi Ties Need to Revert to NormalSaudi Ties Need to Revert to Normal

The deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs said although Iran denounces Saudi Arabia's use of force to address regional issues, especially in Yemen, and sees the policy as a "strategic" mistake, relations with the Arab kingdom need to go back to their "normal" and "acceptable" level.


Hossein Amir Abdollahian made the statements in an interview with Arabic news channel Al-Alam, IRNA reported on Sunday.

"Iran and Saudi Arabia can exploit their capacities to resolve regional crises through constructive collaboration."

Pointing to his meeting with Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on the sidelines of the recent Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit, he said both sides stated their clear stances toward regional issues. "We stressed the need for a political approach to help clear up misunderstandings and resolve the ongoing crises in the region by joint Tehran-Riyadh efforts."

He said although the Saudis have sent "positive" signals, the criterion for Iran's decision to collaborate with them is the practical approach of the Arab country. "They need to halt the war in Yemen, stop killing the innocent women and children and bring an end to the blockade (on Yemen)."

***Shift in Positions  

Commenting on the latest developments in Syria, Amir Abdollahian said fortunately there has been a shift in the positions of regional players toward Syria.

"Although certain states previously considered war to be the best strategy to solve the crisis in Syria, now most of them believe that concentration on a political approach would be the best solution."

The senior diplomat said Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem will visit Tehran this week to hold consultations with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif on ways to overcome the crisis gripping the war-ravaged country.


Turning to Turkey's measures, including its decision to join the US-led coalition against the so-called Islamic State militant group targeting the terrorists in Iraq and Syria and allow US forces to use an airbase near the Syrian border to carry out strikes against IS positions, he said, "Tehran has strategic relations with Ankara…yet it does not support measures that violate the sovereignty of its neighboring country (Iraq)."

"Any struggle against terrorism and IS in Syria must be in coordination with Syrian and Iraqi governments" he noted.

The deputy minister referred to statements by Israeli authorities against the recent nuclear deal with major powers and said the remarks are rooted in their "weakness" and "fears".

He rejected the idea that Iran would collaborate with the US in the fight against IS as long as it continues to adopt "double-standards" in its anti-terror campaign.  

***Breathtaking Path

On the nuclear pact reached with the six major powers (the US, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany) in Vienna last month, Amir Abdollahian said the path of negotiations was "difficult" and "breathtaking".

Yet, he said, the nuclear talks conveyed a significance message to the international community, overlooked for a long time in the literature of international relations, which is: "Diplomacy and negotiations can solve the most complicated political disputes, once consensus is reached on employing them."

He hoped the accord would be a model for regional states so that diplomatic talks are held to find solutions to the raging crises in the region without foreign intervention.