Tehran-Riyadh Ties Not Severed: Iranian Diplomat
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran and Saudi Arabia have not severed diplomatic relations, an Iranian deputy foreign minister stressed, saying that Riyadh has named a new ambassador to Tehran.
“Saudi Arabia has named an ambassador (to Iran)” Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular, Parliamentary and Expatriates' Affairs Hassan Qashqavi said in an interview with Al Alam Arabic-language news channel on Sunday.
He noted that “a level of negotiations” has begun between Iran and Saudi Arabia on the bilateral relations and some regional issues.
Qashqavi expressed the hope that diplomatic talks and meetings would pave the way for closer interaction between the two Muslim countries.
Ties between Tehran and Riyadh have strained in recent months after their conflicting views on regional developments, particularly on Yemen and Syria, became more noticeable.
The relations further deteriorated after a crush of pilgrims in Mina, near Saudi Arabia’s Mecca, in September killed 464 Iranians.
Tehran has blamed the deaths on the Al Saud’s mismanagement of the Hajj pilgrimage and criticized Riyadh for “lack of cooperation” on restoring the rights of families of the victims.
Iran’s former ambassador to Lebanon Ghazanfar Roknabadi also lost his life in the tragic incident, which killed thousands of pilgrims from different countries.