Saudi to restore ties when ‘Iran stops meddling’

Saudi U.N. Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi. (File photo: AFP)

Saudi Arabia said on Monday it would restore ties with Iran when Tehran stopped meddling in the affairs of other countries and pledged that Riyadh would continue to work "very hard" to support bids for peace in Syria and Yemen despite the spat.

Saudi Arabia cut all ties with Iran on Sunday following an attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran.

The attack was prompted by Saudi Arabia's execution of Shiite preacher Nimr al-Nimr, provoking outrage from Iran.

When asked what it would take for ties to be restored, Saudi U.N. Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi told reporters: "Very simple - Iran to cease and desist from interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, including our own."

He added, "If they do so, we will of course have normal relations with Iran. We are not natural-born enemies of Iran."

On Monday, Bahrain and Sudan cut all ties with Iran, following Riyadh's example. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told Reuters that Riyadh would also halt air traffic and commercial relations between the rival powers.

Jubeir blamed Iran's "aggressive policies" for the diplomatic action, alluding to years of tension that spilled over on Saturday night when Iranian protesters stormed the kingdom's embassy in Tehran.

The UAE partially downgraded its relations but the other Gulf Arab countries - Kuwait, Qatar and Oman - stayed above the fray.

Iran accused Saudi Arabia of using the attack on the embassy as an "excuse" to sever ties and further increase sectarian tensions.

A man was shot dead in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province late on Sunday, and two Sunni mosques in Iraq's Shi'ite-majority Hilla province were bombed in the fallout from the dispute between the Middle East's top powers.
 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:46 - GMT 06:46
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