Tehran, Oct 8 (IANS) Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Tehran is ready for dialogue and rapprochement with Riyadh.
“There is a willingness for rapprochement on both sides, and we are willing to talk to Saudi Arabia about our difference,” he was quoted as saying on Saturday by Tasnim news agency, Xinhua reported.
“We do not believe that Iran and Saudi Arabia should have the type of relationship they have right now,” he said.
However, Zarif slammed what he said Saudi Arabia’s support for terrorist groups in Syria and its aggression on Yemen, as well as its treatment of Qatar.
“We believe the posture in the Persian Gulf by Saudi Arabia is not a positive one, (like) the policies they pursue against Qatar,” Zarif said, adding that Saudi Arabia was using claims of Iranian expansionism to justify its own attempts to exert influence in the region.
“The concepts they are using to muddy the waters, policies that have brought unfortunate disastrous consequences for our region, cannot be justified by these smokescreens of exporting revolutions,” he added.
Iran and his regional rival Saudi Arabia are at loggerheads over their influence in the Middle East region.
Saudi Arabia severed its diplomatic relations with Iran in January 2016, following demonstrations in front of the Saudi embassy in Tehran and its consulate in the northeastern city of Mashhad.
Angry protesters set the diplomatic missions ablaze for the execution of top Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr by Saudi Arabia.
On Saturday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi strongly dismissed what he called the recent allegations by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir against Tehran as “baseless”, official IRNA news agency reported.
On Saturday, Jubeir said Iran must be criticized for its interference in the region and support for terrorist organizations.
Whenever Saudis feel pressure for their aggression on Yemen and their supports to terrorism by world public opinion, they lodge “ridiculous and repeated allegations” against Iran, Qasemi said.