Iran's Foreign Minister Sheds Light on Severance of Diplomatic Ties Between Tehran and Riyadh

© REUTERS / AZIZ TAHERIranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian attends a press conference after his meeting with Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, in Beirut, Lebanon October 7, 2021.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian attends a press conference after his meeting with Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, in Beirut, Lebanon October 7, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.10.2021
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The Iranian foreign minister argued that good relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia benefited the whole region, and that the "Iran-Saudi dialogue is in the right direction".
Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian has broached the subject of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, as he spoke at a news conference in Beirut on Friday.
Stating that good relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia benefited the whole region, Amirabdollahian insisted that it wasn’t Iran who made the move several years ago to sever ties between the two countries.
"Iran-Saudi dialogue is in the right direction and we need more dialogue," he said as quoted by Reuters. "We were not the first to cut ties with Saudi Arabia; the decision was made by the Saudi authorities. We consider the dialogue between the two countries constructive."
Iran and Saudi Arabia, probably the most prominent Shia and Sunni powers, respectively, in the Middle East, have been at odds for years, “backing allies fighting proxy wars in Yemen, Syria and elsewhere”, as Reuters puts it.
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The two countries have had no diplomatic relations since 2016, following Saudi Arabia's execution of a prominent Shia cleric and a subsequent attack on the country's embassy in Tehran by an angry mob.
In May 2021, however, the Saudi Arabian and Iranian foreign ministries’ officials confirmed that Riyadh and Tehran were holding direct talks.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Thursday that negotiations between the two nations are of paramount importance and "frankly critical to the stability of the region."
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