Cairo: Iran has said it could enter a “new chapter of engagement and cooperation” after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has said his country seeks good ties with Tehran.
“The two important regional countries and the Islamic world could enter a new chapter of engagement and cooperation through constructive dialogue to achieve regional peace, stability and development by overcoming disputes,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said, according to the Iranian news agency IRNA.
He made the comment, responding to a question on the Saudi crown prince’s remarks on the Saudi-Iranian ties, IRNA said.
The Saudi Crown Prince said this week that his country is interested in “normal relations” with Iran, but blamed the latter’s “negative behaviour” for straining their links.
“Iran is a neighbour. We want normal and distinguished ties with it,” Prince Mohammed said in a TV interview. “But our problem with Iran lies in its negative behaviour whether its nuclear programme, support for outlawed militias in some countries of the region, or the ballistic missile programme. We are working with our partners in the region and the world to address these challenges. We hope to overcome them,” he added without elaborating.
Riyadh cut off diplomatic links with Tehran in 2016 and repeatedly accused it of adopting destabilising policies and supporting proxy militias in the region, including the Al Houthi rebels in Yemen where Saudi Arabia is leading a military campaign.
Riyadh also supported ex-US president Donald Trump’s maximalist policy against Iran after withdrawing his country from a controversial nuclear deal with Tehran.
Tehran’s latest reaction came as Iranian Foreign Minister Javid Zarif wrapped up a multi-leg Arab tour, which he said was “constructive” amid efforts to revive an international nuclear deal in Vienna. He visited Qatar, Iraq, Oman and Kuwait.
“Coinciding with the Vienna talks, I spent five days in four neighbouring Arab capitals where I held constructive talks with our brothers, with all of us heading towards strong, effective bilateral relations,” Zarif tweeted in Arabic without giving details.
In recent years, several Arab countries have accused Iran of meddling in their affairs.