01/22/2020, 17.57
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Tehran calls on Riyadh to 'overcome' divisions

The Iranian president’s chief of staff reaches out to the Saudis, noting that Iranian-Saudi relations should not be influenced by tensions with the United States. For Mahmoud Vaezi, the two countries “should work together to resolve their problems”.

Tehran (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Shia-majority Iran is trying to break its political, economic and diplomatic encirclement, offering an olive branch to its main regional rival, Sunni-majority Saudi Arabia.

A senior Iranian government official, the Iranian president’s chief of staff Mahmoud Vaezi, said today that his country and the Saudi kingdom can work together to overcome problems.

“The relations between Iran and its neighbour Saudi Arabia should not become like the relationship between Tehran and the United States,” Iranian state news agency IRNA quoted Vaezi as saying.

For him, “Tehran and Riyadh should work together to resolve their problems.” Instead, for decades, the two countries have been at loggerheads across the Middle East, from Syria to Yemen.

In early November, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani sent a letter to the monarchs of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, urging them to agree to talks to settle regional disputes.

For experts, this was an important step by the main Shia power towards its Sunni rivals, whose relations have been marred by tensions, exacerbated by an attack against Saudi oil wells.

The relationship has been further complicated by the US-Iran conflict triggered by the killing of General Qassem Soleimani, head of the Quds Force, which led to reprisal rocket attacks against US targets in Iraq.

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