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Saudi Arabia rules out mediation with Iran

As long as Iran pursues hostile policies toward Arab states, there will be no mediation: Al Jubeir

Image Credit: REUTERS
Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir speaks during a joint news conference with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, in Riyadh January 19, 2016. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser
Gulf News

Manama: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir has denied the existence of a Pakistani mediation between his country and Iran.

Reports last week said that Pakistan had offered to mediate between the two countries and end a tense situation sparked by the attacks on the Saudi diplomatic missions in the Iranian capital Tehran and the northern city of Mashhad.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited Riyadh and Tehran in his bid to ease the tension between the two countries, reports said.

However, on Sunday, Al Jubeir dismissed the existence of any mediation.

Some countries had offered to mediate and to convey thoughts and ideas between Riyadh and Tehran, he said, but added that Iran was well aware of what it is expected to do.

“There will be no mediation as long as Iran does not respond positively,” he said in the Bahraini capital Manama where he is attending the ministerial meeting of the Arab-India Cooperation Forum.

Al Jubeir said that Iran has been following a hostile policy towards the Arab world that included interference in their domestic affairs, sowing sectarian sedition and supporting terrorism.

He said that there was strong evidence of Iran’s acts of hostility and that Iran was on the list of terrorism-sponsoring countries that was drawn up by the United Nations and other states, beside Saudi Arabia.

Al Jubeir said that Iran has government institutions classified as terrorist organisations and that there were officials in Iran and in Iranian institutions who were wanted for terror-related activities.

The Saudi minister said the picture was clear and Iran needed to change its policy and its approach, including promoting good neighbourliness and the non-interference in the domestic affairs of other countries, in order to see better relations between Tehran and neighbouring capitals.

On January 3, Saudi Arabia severed its diplomatic relations with Iran, a move that was emulated by several other Arab countries. More countries lowered their diplomatic ties with Iran in condemnation of the attacks.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), grouping Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates condemned the attacks, followed one day later by the Arab League.

Last week, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the 57-member group, also condemned the attacks.

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