Iranian President Hassan Rowhani called on Thursday for closer ties with Saudi Arabia, hailing the kingdom as a “friend and brother” of Iran, state-sponsored Tasnim News Agency reported.
Rowhani was addressing a meeting of Hajj officials in Tehran saying that his government is “willing to remove trivial tensions from the path (of bilateral ties with Saudi Arabia) in order to fulfill bilateral and the Islamic world’s interests.”
“This issue (expansion of ties) has been emphasized both in the Saudi king’s congratulatory letter to me and in my letter to thank him,” Rouhani added.
Rowhani had said on Tuesday that improving relations with neighboring countries is a top priority in his foreign policy agenda.
He also pledged to adopt an approach of openness with Western powers over Iran’s disputed nuclear program.
The relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran have been tense during the administration of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Both countries have conflicting approaches to regional issues in Lebanon, Syria and Egypt.
The tension between the two major Mideast powers intensified when the United States foiled in October 2011 an Iranian-linked plot to assassinate Saudi ambassador Adel al-Jubeir in Washington.
The incident was referred to as “Iran assassination plot” in the media and was named by the Federal Bureau of Investigation “Operation Red Coalition.”
Two Iranians, Manssor Arbabsiar and Gholam Shakuri, were charged in a federal court in New York.
Ex-diplomat: Iran’s president okayed to enter direct talks with U.S.Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has given the green light for President Hassan Rowhani to engage in direct talks with the United ... Middle East
Iran president sees Syria as part of Western ‘plot’Iranian President Hassan Rowhani warned Monday of a Western campaign to transform the Arab world to suit the interests of Israel, with the Syria ... Middle East
New Iran president demands slogan-free diplomacyIran’s new President Hassan Rowhani called Saturday for a foreign policy free of damaging sloganeering as Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif ... News
Iran’s new president ‘seriously determined’ to resolve nuclear issueIran’s new President Hassan Rowhani on Tuesday said he was “seriously determined” to resolve a dispute with the West over ... Middle East
Ahmadinejad given post-presidency seat in top Iran councilFormer Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was given a post-presidency seat in the country’s top political arbitration body on Monday. ... World News
Iran gets new president, vows ‘constructive’ foreign relationsHassan Rouhani took office as Iran's president on Saturday promising “constructive interaction with the world” after eight years under ... Profiles
Hassan Rowhani to officially take over as Iran’s 7th presidentIranian president-elect Hassan Rowhani meets the country’s supreme leader on Saturday to be endorsed as the country’s seventh president. ... World News