Iran open to Mideast peace talks with Saudi Arabia

TEHRAN: A senior Iranian diplomat Tuesday said the Islamic Republic welcomes dialog with Saudi Arabia to help restore peace to the restive Middle East region.

“We welcome dialog and cooperation with Saudi Arabia with a view to restoring peace, security and welfare to the region,” Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Tuesday.

He also said a nuclear agreement reached between Iran and the six world powers in July would be beneficial to all countries in the region, adding, “If Saudi Arabia plays a constructive role, it will definitely benefit [from the implementation of the agreement].”

Amir, however, warned that any “negative game” by Saudi Arabia would backfire on the Arab kingdom and will pose “serious threat to security and sustainable development” in the region.

Iran and the P5+1 group of countries – the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany – finalized the text of the nuclear agreement called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in Vienna, Austria, on July 14.

Under the JCPOA, limits will be put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all economic and financial bans, against the Islamic Republic.

Amir also emphasized that Saudi Arabia’s ongoing war on Yemen is likely to aggravate the impoverished country’s internal conflict and expand terrorism.

He reiterated that Yemen’s domestic crisis can only be settled through political solutions and upon an agreement among all Yemeni factions.

Saudi Arabia launched military strikes against Yemen on March 26 – without a UN mandate – in a bid to undermine Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement and restore power to the country’s fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.

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