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    Iranian security protect Saudi Arabia's embassy in Tehran, Iran, while a group of demonstrators gathered to protest execution of a Shiite cleric in Saudi Arabia, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016

    Putin: Saudi Arabia-Iran Tensions Hamper Anti-Terrorism Fight

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    Russian President Vladimir Putin said that disagreements between Saudi Arabia and Iran hamper the fight against terrorism and efforts to settle the Syrian conflict.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Disagreements between Saudi Arabia and Iran hamper the fight against terrorism and efforts to settle the Syrian conflict, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

    "It definitely complicates efforts to find a solution to the Syrian problem and to solve the problem of combating terrorism, the matter of stopping refugee flows to Europe. This is absolutely obvious," Putin told Germany's Bild newspaper.

    The president added that he does not know whether Tehran-Ryadh tensions could lead to a major regional confrontation and that he did not want to "speak or even think" about such a turn of events.

    Putin noted that Russia has good relations with Iran and that a sustainable partnership is being formed with Saudi Arabia.

    He also said that Russia regrets execution of Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr in Saudi Arabia, but considers an attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran absolutely unacceptable.

    "We regret what happened, especially knowing that this cleric did not fight with arms in his hands against Saudi Arabia. At the same time, an attack on an embassy is an absolutely unacceptable event in today's world," Putin said in the interview published on Tuesday.

    "If our mediation [in current Saudi-Iran conflict] will be needed, we are ready to make all possible efforts to help end it as soon as possible," Putin added.

    Relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia soured dramatically following the execution of Nimr al-Nimr, an outspoken critic of the Saudi monarchy, along with 46 other people convicted of terrorism on January 2.


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