Zarif came across Saudi Arabia’s Adel al-Jubeir after a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Turkey’s Istanbul on Tuesday and shook hands with him.
Zarif described the handshake “a normal move in diplomatic protocol”. “This was because of mutual respect and old friendship I have had with Jubeir,” he said, IRNA reported.
“Jubeir and I have long known each other, and that was another greeting,” Zarif added.
He noted that although Iran does not agree with many policies of Saudi Arabia, its own policies have always been based on establishing good ties with neighbors.
On Tuesday, Zarif expressed hope that Saudi Arabia will change its policies regarding regional issues, saying Riyadh’s conducts have caused extensive damage to the region and to the Arab country itself.
“Unfortunately, we do not observe any change in those [Saudi] policies and hope that the Saudi government would revise them considering the realities on the ground in the region and (the fact) that these policies have not been beneficial for the region and for themselves,” the top Iranian diplomat added.
He also reiterated Iran’s preparedness to have friendly ties with all neighbors to serve the Islamic world’s interests.