Saudi Arabia has threatened to recall its diplomats from Iran unless it provides adequate security provisions for them, the Kingdom’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Prince Turki bin Mohammed, told reporters on Sunday.
“I hope we won't be obliged to withdraw our diplomatic mission from Tehran if Iran fails to take the necessary measures to protect it,” Prince Turki told reporters.
Saudi Arabia has accused Iran of interfering in the internal affairs of the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries
Relations have been tense between Saudi Arabia and Iran since March when the Bahraini government strongly opposed weeks of protests led mainly by Shiites. It requested troops from Sunni-led Gulf neighbors Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The deployment prompted the Iranian parliament’s foreign affairs and national security committee to issue a statement saying. “Saudi Arabia should know it’s better not to play with fire in the sensitive region of the Persian Gulf.”
Riyadh’s retort was to accuse Tehran of “fuelling confessional tensions (in the region) and failing to respect the norms of good neighborliness, as in the case of Kuwait where a spy cell has been uncovered.”
Iran has called on the UN Security Council to protect protesters and opposition activists in Bahrain, saying unrest and suppression could destabilize the entire region, the official IRNA news agency said on Friday.
Saudi Arabia, linked to Bahrain by a causeway, is seen as the political and financial guardian of the island state, which is also the headquarters of the US Fifth Fleet.
(Sara Ghasemilee of Al Arabiya can be reached at: email@example.com)