Zarif Says Iran Welcomes Efforts To Mediate Talks With Saudi Arabia


Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tehran welcomes efforts by intermediaries to mediate between Tehran and Riyadh.

“We’ve always been open to discussing anything with Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is our neighbor. We’re going to be here together permanently,” Mohammad Javad Zarif told Turkey’s TRT World.

“We don’t have any choice but to talk to each other, and we have been open to talking to Saudi Arabia either directly or through intermediaries,” he added.

When asked about the upcoming visit of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan to Tehran, the top diplomat said, “We’ve never rejected any intermediary… We’ve always been open to mediation, and we’ve always been open to direct talks with our Saudi neighbors.”

Khan is likely to visit Iran and Saudi Arabia, the Pakistani foreign office said on Friday, weeks after Islamabad said Washington had asked it to mediate with Tehran.

The announcement of the possible visit comes after Khan last month revealed a request by US President Donald Trump, asking the Pakistani leader to help defuse tensions with Iran.

Khan said after a meeting with Trump on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York that he was “trying and mediating” and had also spoken with Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.

Tensions have elevated between Iran and Saudi Arabia since retaliatory attacks by Houthis on Saudi oil facilities on September 14. Saudi Arabia and the US pinned the blame for the Yemeni raids on Tehran. Iran denies any involvement in the attacks.

Tasnim News Agency

Tasnim News Agency, which claims to be a private news agency in Iran but is reported be close to the IRGC, was launched in 2012. Its purpose is to cover a variety of political, social, economic and international subjects along with other fields.

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