News ID: 199093
Published: 0206 GMT August 21, 2017

Leader's top aide: Tehran welcomes Riyadh’s change of behavior

Leader's top aide: Tehran welcomes Riyadh’s change of behavior

Iranian Leader's top aide for international affairs Ali Akbar Velayati underlined that Tehran welcomes Riyadh's change of approach and behavior towards the regional issues and Iran.

"What is emphasized is the regional countries' good neighborliness and if a country doesn’t abide by the principles of good neighborliness, but later returns to the right path, the Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes it,” Velayati told reporters in Tehran on Monday when asked about the Saudi officials' demand from Iraq to mediate for improvement of Riyadh-Tehran ties, Tasnim News Agency wrote.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran always welcomes good neighborliness among neighbors so that trans-regional parties and their mercenaries don’t find an opportunity to interfere in regional issues," he added.

Earlier this month, an Iraqi minister said that Saudi Arabia has asked Baghdad to play a mediatory role between Riyadh and Tehran to resume bilateral relations.

Iraqi Interior Minister Qassim al-Araji, who was on a visit to Saudi Arabia recently, announced that the Saudi officials have urged the government of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to mediate between Riyadh and Tehran.

"Mohammed bin Salman (the Saudi crown prince) officially demanded me that Iraq mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia to reduce tensions. King Salman had also earlier raised such a demand. We believe that friendly relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia will help the regional security," al-Araji said in a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli in Tehran.

Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran in January 2016 following demonstrations held in front of its embassy in Tehran and its consulate in Mashhad by angry demonstrators protesting the execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr in Riyadh on January 2.

Nimr’s execution caused international outrage and sparked anti-Saudi demonstrations in many other countries.

Riyadh has been attempting to rock the boat in relations between Iran and other world states and has spared no efforts to pressure Tehran.

In April 2017, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani took Saudi Arabia responsible for the darkened relations between the two countries, saying that the root cause of Riyadh's hostile behavior should be found in its failures in Syria and Yemen.

"The fault is not on us but the distance has been created by them (the Saudis)," Rouhani told reporters in a press conference in Tehran.

He referred to the tragic Mina incident on September 24, 2015, the execution of prominent cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr by Saudi Arabia in January 2016 and the angry people's attack against the Saudi embassy in Tehran (which was condemned by the Iranian officials), and said, "Apparently, Saudi Arabia had prepared itself for an incorrect behavior towards Iran whose root cause, I personally think, can be traced in its failures in Syria and Yemen."

He, meantime, underscored Iran's readiness to improve ties with Riyadh.

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