Iran wants to resolve disputes with Saudi, UAE soon: Iran’s ambassador to Iraq

“The relations between Iran and its neighbour Saudi Arabia should not become like the relationship between Tehran and the US," said the Iranian president's chief of staff.
Wednesday 05/02/2020
Oman's new Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, right, receives Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, after his arrival to attend an official mourning ceremony for the late Sultan Qaboos, in Muscat, Oman, January 12. (AP)
Oman's new Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, right, receives Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, after his arrival to attend an official mourning ceremony for the late Sultan Qaboos, in Muscat, Oman, January 12. (AP)

LONDON - In what is becoming a common occurrence, an Iranian official has expressed his country’s desire to improve relations with its Arab neighbours, namely rivals Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Iran would like to resolve differences with Gulf states Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates “as quickly as possible," Iranian Ambassador to Iraq Iraj Masjedi told Iraq's state news agency in an interview.

Masjedi also said that Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani, who was killed at Baghdad International Airport by a US drone strike last month, was carrying a message setting out Iran’s position on possible rapprochement with Saudi Arabia. However, that claim was dismissed by other officials and analysts.

On January 22, a day following a visit by Omani Foreign Minister Yousef Bin Alawi, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted in Arabic that "Iran remains open to dialogue with its neighbour and expresses its willingness to participate in any complementary efforts that work in the region's favour. It welcomes any step that would restore hope to its people and bring stability and prosperity to the region."

While a high-ranking Iranian official also touted the benefits of Saudi Arabia and Iran ironing out their differences.

“The relations between Iran and its neighbour Saudi Arabia should not become like the relationship between Tehran and the United States … Tehran and Riyadh should work together to resolve their problems,” the state news agency IRNA quoted the Iranian president’s chief of staff Mahmoud Vaezi as saying.

A top adviser to Iran's parliament speaker also indicated that a thaw in relations between Iran and its Arab neighbours could soon be a reality.

"Most probably, in the not too distant future, there will be better conditions and bilateral relations between Iran and these two countries (Saudi Arabia and the UAE)," said senior Iranian diplomat Hossein Amir Abdollahian on January 19, according to the official IRNA news agency. He added that Iraqi officials and Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, in particular, have been trying to mediate talks between Tehran and Riyadh. 

(With news agencies)