Tehran: Iran is ready for talks with Saudi Arabia for the good of the region and to solve problems facing the regional countries, an Iranian foreign ministry official said on Tuesday, according to state TV. “We welcome dialogue and cooperation with Saudi Arabia with a view to restoring peace, security and welfare to the region,” Press TV quoted Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian as saying.
“If Saudi Arabia plays a constructive role, it will definitely benefit” from the implementation of the nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers reached in the Austrian capital of Vienna last month, he said. However, if Saudi Arabia continues its “negative game,” it should anticipate the repercussions which will pose “serious threat to security and sustainable development” in the region, he added.
Earlier this month, Amir-Abdollahian urged normalization of relations between the two Islamic states, saying that Iran and Saudi Arabia had the potential to interact constructively over regional issues. “We believe that the coercive policies of Saudi Arabia to solve regional issues, particularly those of Yemen, are strategic mistakes,” Amir Abdollahian said. “Although we do not agree with these policies of Saudi Arabia, we think bilateral relations should be normalized,” he said. Tehran and Riyadh should start “straightforward, effective and constructive talks to fight terrorism and extremism and to restore security and stability to the region,” Amir-Abdollahian said. Saudi Arabia has long accused Iran of arming and financing Houthi Shiite fighters, an accusation strongly rejected by Tehran.