Riyadh Asks Baghdad to Mediate Diplomatic Row With Tehran

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Iraqi Interior Minister Qassim Araji said that Saudi Arabia has requested Iraq to become a mediator in a diplomatic row with Iran.

In this Thursday March 10, 2016 photo released by the Saudi Press Agency, SPA, Saudi King Salman watches the North Thunder military exercises in Hafr Al-Baten, Saudi Arabia. - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Saudi Arabia has requested Iraq to become a mediator in a diplomatic row with Iran, Iraqi Interior Minister Qassim Araji said Sunday.

"Mohammed bin Salman (the Saudi crown prince) officially demanded me that Iraq mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia to reduce tensions. King Salman had also earlier raised such a demand. We believe that friendly relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia will help the regional security," Araji said in a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli in Tehran, as quoted by Fars News Agency.

A major diplomatic row between the Shiite-dominated Iran and the Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia, followed the execution of the prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr by Saudi authorities in January 2016. The move triggered a public backlash in Iran, where protesters stormed the Saudi embassy and consulate. The two countries severed diplomatic ties in the wake of the events.

According to reports, some 100 suspects were detained by Iran following the incident of whom over a dozen were subsequently sentenced to imprisonment.

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