0630 GMT January 20, 2019
“As friends we would be ready to play, if it is demanded, an intermediary role in ... settling the existing contradictions and any new ones that arise between these two countries,” Russia’s RIA Novosti quoted an anonymous source in the Russian Foreign Ministry as saying on Monday.
“We express sincere regrets over the escalation of tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran because we believe these two large Muslim countries are very influential in the region, on the global arena and on the oil market,” the source added.
The source also emphasized that Moscow expects Riyadh and Tehran to continue their participation in the international talks on Syria to help end the crisis in the Arab country.
Meanwhile, Germany has also called on Saudi Arabia and Iran to engage in talks and use “all possibilities” to improve their bilateral relations.
“We urge both countries to engage in dialogue,” German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Monday.
On Sunday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir announced the severing of diplomatic relations with Iran following Tehran's strong condemnation of the execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.
The move followed demonstrations held in front of the Saudi embassy in Tehran and the Arab country’s consulate in the northeastern city of Mashhad by angry protesters censuring the Al Saud family for the killing of the top cleric as part of a crackdown on Shias mostly residing in the kingdom's Eastern Province.
Some people mounted the walls of the consulate in Mashhad while incendiary devices were hurled at the embassy in Tehran. Some 50 people were detained over the transgression.
Earlier on Monday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari said the Saudi bid to sever ties with the Islamic Republic shows that the kingdom’s survival hinges on mounting tensions.
Jaberi Ansari said that the Islamic Republic has fulfilled its duty to reign in public anger and is committed to securing immunity of diplomatic missions as stipulated in international conventions.
The Iranian official said that creating tensions and conflicts is the Islamic Republic’s red line, adding that as long as Riyadh seeks tension, there is no possibility of a change in Iran-Saudi relations.