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Iraq’s Sadr Urges Tehran-Riyadh Dialogue

Iraq’s Sadr Urges Tehran-Riyadh DialogueIraq’s Sadr Urges Tehran-Riyadh Dialogue

Iraqi prominent Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr on Monday urged Saudi Arabia and Iran to engage in “serious dialogue” with a view to averting what he described as a potential “sectarian war” in the region.  “We have been pleased with recent positive developments in Saudi Arabia-Iraq relations,” Sadr declared in a statement released by his office on Monday, Al-Bawaba News reported.

“We hope this is the beginning of a de-escalation of sectarian tensions in the Arab and Muslim region. The only victims of these tensions are the people of Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and others.”

The firebrand Shia cleric urged Iran and Saudi Arabia “to exercise restraint and refrain from escalations”. He called on the two regional powers to “care for their peoples … and engage in serious dialogue with a view to restoring regional peace and security”. Tension has mounted between Persian Gulf Arab states and Iran since Riyadh severed diplomatic ties with Tehran early last year after two Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran were attacked by Iranian protesters following the execution of a prominent Shia cleric by Saudi authorities.

The lingering conflicts in Syria and Yemen—in which the two sides support opposing sides—have contributed to the deterioration of relations.

 

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