Tehran-Riyadh Row Impedes Anti-Terror Fight

Tehran-Riyadh Row Impedes Anti-Terror Fight

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saudi Arabia's spat with Iran could hinder the battle against terrorism as well as efforts to settle the Syrian crisis.
"It (the diplomatic dispute) definitely complicates efforts to find a solution to the Syrian problem and to solve the problem of combating terrorism, the matter of stopping refugee flows to Europe. This is absolutely obvious," Putin told Germany's Bild newspaper, Sputnik reported on Tuesday.
The president added that he had no idea if Riyadh-Tehran tensions could lead to a major regional confrontation and that he did not want to "speak or even think" about such a turn of events.
Putin noted that Russia has good relations with Iran and that a sustainable partnership is being formed with Saudi Arabia.
He said Russia regrets execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr by Saudi Arabia, also describing an attack on the Saudi Embassy in Tehran as "unacceptable".
"We regret what happened, especially knowing that this cleric did not fight with arms in his hands against Saudi Arabia. At the same time, an attack on an embassy is an absolutely unacceptable event in today's world," Putin said.
"If our mediation will be needed, we are ready to make all possible efforts to help end it as soon as possible."
The Saudi government on January 3 announced that Riyadh severed its diplomatic relations with Tehran following angry protests in Tehran at the execution of Sheikh Nimr by Riyadh.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said in Tehran's first response that by cutting diplomatic ties, Riyadh could not cover up "its major mistake of executing Sheikh Nimr".

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