Iran seeks consistent ties with neighbors, Saudi Arabia: spokesman

IranTEHRAN, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) — Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari said on Monday that Iran seeks to maintain consistent ties with its neighbors including Saudi Arabia.

“It is not Iran that has severed ties with Saudi Arabia…, besides, Iran’s policy is not creating tensions and stopping political relations,” Jaber Ansari said with reference to the recent diplomatic row between Iran and Saudi kingdom.

He emphasized that “the Islamic Republic does not consider cutting of ties as a logical and proper way for the political ends. ”

He also called for stopping what he called “Saudi Arabia’s support of extremism”, saying that “If the Arab state continues this policy, it will face myriad of problems… since the regional states have expressed their discontent with the rise of tensions.”

On Sunday, Jaber Ansari said that Iran was seeking to sooth tensions in the region including its frictions with Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia had adopted the policy of confronting the regional realities and they seek escalation of tensions and hostility with Iran, Jaber Ansari said.

However, they were not prepared for such a game with Iran, he said, adding that Saudi Arabia should not be permitted to impose the costs of its destructive policies on the region.

Iran understands the developments in the region and moves in line with them seeking to de-escalate tensions, the Iranian spokesman said.

Drawing upon the companionship of some Arab states in severing or downgrading diplomatic ties with Iran, he said that some states are trying to solve their economic problems by Saudi petro-dollars or they share political interests with Riyadh.

Cutting ties with Iran and putting pressure on other countries in so doing will not bear any benefit to Riyadh, he added.

Iran and Saudi Arabia are currently locked in a diplomatic row over Sunni-majority Riyadh’s execution of a prominent Shiite cleric, along with 46 others over terror charges.

The executions have sent large number of Iranians onto the street, while some of them stormed Saudi diplomatic missions in capital Tehran and the northeastern city of Mashhad. Later, Riyadh cut its diplomatic ties with Tehran over the attack on its embassy,  while many of Gulf partners either followed suit or downgraded their relations with the Islamic Republic.

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