Iran Expects Saudi Arabia to Make First Step in Restoring Relations: Source

News ID: 977231 Service: Politics
ایران عربستان سعودی

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A source in the Iranian Foreign Ministry has told a Russian news agency that the "ball is in the Saudi court," and that Tehran is ready for relations with all countries of the region, including Saudi Arabia.

Iran is open to relations with all countries in the region, but it is up to Riyadh to reach out to Tehran, a source in the Iranian Foreign Ministry told Sputnik.

"I can only say that the ball is in the Saudi court, and Tehran is ready for relations with all countries of the region, including Saudi Arabia," the source added.

The source confirmed that Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had discussed the issue, and that the latter said he considered attacks against Saudi missions in Iran unacceptable, but Riyadh was blowing the situation out of proportion.

Tensions ran high between Iran and Saudi Arabia in recent weeks mainly due to Riyadh’s execution of prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, and a subsequent attack by outraged Iranian protesters on the Saudi embassy in Tehran, which resulted in the Arab country’s decision to sever its ties with the Islamic Republic.

On January 2, Saudi Arabia announced that it has executed Sheikh Nimr, among dozens of others. The execution ignited widespread international condemnation, from both political and religious figures.

The next day, furious demonstrators in the Iranian cities of Tehran and Mashhad stormed Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic buildings in protest at the execution of Sheikh Nimr.

Although Iranian officials criticized the embassy attack and police arrested dozens involved, Saudi Arabia cut off diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic.

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