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Iran Denies Receiving S. Arabia’s Mediator on Yemen

2 June 2016 17:55



Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian dismissed media reports claiming that Saudi Arabia has sent a mediator to Tehran to discuss settlement of the crisis in Yemen.

“Reports released on sending a mediator from Saudi Arabia to Tehran to settle the crisis in Yemen are not correct,” Amir Abdollahian told FNA on Thursday.

His remarks came after al-Mayadeen news channel had quoted Amir Abdollahian as saying that given severed ties between Tehran and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia has sent a mediator to Iran to consult with the country on ways to settle the problems in Yemen.

The reports came following Amir Abdollahian’s meeting with Director General of Morocco’s Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) Khalil Al-Hashem Al-Idrisi in Tehran on Wednesday.

During the meeting, he criticized Saudi Arabia for its decision to cut ties with Iran, and said despite the Saudi actions, Iran supported resolution of Yemen crisis and accepted Saudi demand for Iran’s help in this regard.
Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran on January 3 following demonstrations held in front of its embassy in Tehran and its consulate in Mashhad by angry protesters censuring the Al Saud family for the execution of prominent Shiite 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.

Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) claimed in April that Mahan Air was banned due to alleged violations of local safety rules. The GACA claimed in a statement that several violations related to airline safety had been committed by Mahan Air.

Immediately after the announcement, Director of Civil Aviation Organization Reza Jafarzadeh said Iranian airlines had never tried to land or make any request to fly in the Saudi airspace.

In a statement at the time, Jafarzadeh said Saudi authorities should explain why they claim they have withdrawn licenses given to Mahan Air to land in the Persian Gulf kingdom or fly in its airspace over ‘safety’ claims.

“No Iranian airline, including Mahan Air, has ever asked to land in Saudi Arabia or fly in its airspace. Iranian airlines have stopped their flight services to Saudi Arabia altogether. It just doesn’t make any sense for the Saudis to question the safety of Iranian jet airliners,” he added.

This is while trade between Iran and Saudi Arabia has mostly been small and each year only Iranian pilgrims travel to the kingdom for the Hajj pilgrimage.

Also in April, Ground Force Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour said Saudi Arabia is masterminding terrorist attacks on the Islamic Republic by training and funding terrorist groups along the borders.

Speaking to reporters, Pakpour said Iran has arrested terrorists that have confessed to their affiliation to Saudi Arabia and some other Persian Gulf Arab states.

Pakpour said Riyadh is striving hard to make Iran insecure, and added, “Right now, countries like the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are engaged in organizing and equipping these groups but the reason why no terrorist act is committed is due to our preparedness.”

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