Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has signalled that he is ready to travel to Riyadh to resolve the differences if the right conditions are created, the Yemeni TV channel Almasirah reports. According to the broadcaster, the Iranian top diplomat also revealed that Tehran is staying in touch with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan about the situation in Yemen.
Zarif is also said to have pledged that Iran will always stand by the Yemeni people and believes that stopping the war is necessary to help them. He reportedly stressed that Tehran welcomes any initiative to ease tensions in the region, vowing to fully cooperate with any move that would help to end the war in the country.
Earlier this month, the speaker of Iran’s parliament, Ali Larijani, said that Iran is ready to work to improve relations with Saudi Arabia and to mediate the long-running war in Yemen, but that the US is trying to hinder these efforts.
At last month’s UN General Assembly, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani outlined a regional security initiative, the Hormuz Peace Endeavour (HOPE) plan. It proposes that regional powers, including Iran and Saudi Arabia, take responsibility for maritime security in the area and rejects the presence of foreign powers, including the recently-established US-led coalition escorting commercial vessels through the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.
Tensions between long-time regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia that have been running high in recent months were exacerbated in October by a suspected missile attack against an Iranian tanker off the Saudi coast. Tehran has said that the attack may have been carried out by one or several governments, but President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif emphasised that they would not lay responsibility for the attack on anyone until the end of an official investigation.
At the same time, one Iranian lawmaker blamed the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia for the attack and said that there was enough documented evidence to serve as proof, adding that Tehran would submit it to the UN Security Council. Riyadh has denied any involvement.