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Tehran: Nawaz Visit Couldn’t Diffuse Saudi Tensions

23 January 2016 19:05


Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari said the recent visit by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif couldn’t help defuse tensions between Tehran and Riyadh, arguing that it all depends on Riyadh, and that means changing course.

“Pakistan is our neighbor and our friend. We have deep-seated relations and they showed interest in playing a role in resolving the problem, and we welcomed the gesture,” Jaberi Ansari told FNA on Saturday.

Noting that one single trip cannot end up in the resumption of ties between Tehran and Riyadh, he said, “The good-will efforts made by friendly and brotherly states such as Pakistan, and Mr. Nawaz Sharif in particular, may succeed if the party which has placed crisis-escalation policy on its agenda takes up to alter its policy.”

Jaberi Ansari voiced regret that Saudi Arabia has recently resorted to all-out confrontation, war and crisis-escalation as its foreign policy strategy.

Sharif was in Tehran earlier this week to discuss ways to mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia to resume their darkened ties as well as expansion of relations between Tehran and Islamabad.

Riyadh cut relations with Tehran after protestors angry at prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr’s execution stormed its embassy in Tehran on January 2 despite the Iranian officials’ detention of 40 people in relations with the attack and their promise to pursue the issue.

Worse yet, Saudi warplanes launched airstrikes on Iran’s embassy in the Yemeni capital earlier this month which injured the mission’s guards. This is while Saudi media outlets report that Riyadh plans to try four Iranians on espionage and terrorism charges, a move that is widely seen as yet another part of the crisis-escalation policy pursued by Riyadh against Tehran.

Pundits slam Ryiadh for its hawkish policies towards Iran, warning that the Saudi rulers might lose much in this self-driven crisis.

“Form terrorist groups, arm them, train them and initiate a proxy war to topple Iran’s allied governments in the region, stand against an Iran-West nuclear deal that could end an over-a-decade-old crisis, attack every Shiite community you see from Bahrain to Yemen and Nigeria, ally with Iran’s arch foe Israel, order your police to humiliate Iranian Hajj pilgrims (and even sexually assault two boys), start a stampede and kill thousands of Muslims to see a few hundred Iranians dead, crack down on the Shiite community at home and behead a Shiite leader, cut ties with Tehran and force small islands to follow suit, bomb Iran’s embassy and slaughter every Iranian you see even under false pretexts. This has been the policy of Saudi Arabia towards Iran in the last few years,” Analyst Mohammad Saleh Barghouthi said last week.

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