Iranian FM Deputy: Now Time to Boost Iran-Saudi Ties

Iranian FM Deputy: Now Time to Boost Iran-Saudi Ties
Tue Aug 4, 2015 12:08:19

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab-African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has called for normalization of Tehran-Riyadh ties, Al-Alam News Network reports.

According to the Tehran-based English newspaper Iran Daily, he said, “We believe that Tehran-Riyadh ties must return to normal and acceptable… Iran and Saudi Arabia can settle mutual problems in addition to regional crises through constructive cooperation and interaction.”

Fortunately, it seems that there are some positive responses from Riyadh. Amir-Abdollahian said Iran has received positive signs from Saudi officials on the resumption of “explicit, constructive and effective” dialogue between Tehran and Riyadh on ways to fight extremism and terrorism and establish stability in the region.

Iran has always welcomed improvement of ties and expansion of cooperation with its neighbors, particularly with Saudi Arabia.

A quick look at the roots of the existing problems may pave the way for some steps by Riyadh to facilitate normalization of ties. It seems that Iran has certain legitimate complaints against Saudi Arabia in its mutual relations. A quick glance at some of these complaints is given below.

Indeed, Tehran-Riyadh relations deteriorated after the victory of 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran when the kingdom began to support Iran’s sworn enemies. Besides certain terrorist groups such as Abdolmalek Rigi’s, Al-Qaeda and Taliban, Saudi Arabia spared no efforts to back Saddam Hussain during his imposed war against Iran (1980–88).

According to Wikileaks, Saudi Arabia bribed UN Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed to launch a disinformation campaign against Iran regarding the state of human rights, despite the fact that democratic institution are not much strong in the kingdom. There were also some reports regarding Riyadh’s intention to cooperate with Israel against Iran – hopefully they are not true.

According to some reports Riyadh used its oil bonanza to influence different channels in order to block Iran nuclear deal, for it wrongfully imagined that the implementation of the deal would undermine its position.

Iran has repeatedly announced that it does not seek crisis and instability in the region and instead calls for more interaction with regional countries.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani recently stated that Iran assures all countries that it seeks fraternal relationships with them, particularly with the neighboring states.

It is time for Saudi Arabia to mend fences with Iran. Tehran is ready to go the extra mile to remove all problems between the two brotherly states to foster regional stability and development.