Iran says it has not received an official invitation from Saudi Arabia for a visit by the Iranian foreign minister to the Arab country, though a meeting between foreign ministers of the two countries is on the agenda.
A written invitation by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal for his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif to visit Riyadh has not been received yet, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Wednesday.
He, however, added that a meeting between the two countries’ foreign ministers is on Tehran’s agenda.
The Iranian diplomat emphasized that Iran and Saudi Arabia are two important countries in the Middle East and said, “We welcome negotiation and meeting in order to help resolve regional problems, clear misunderstandings and further expand bilateral relations.”
The Saudi foreign minister said on Tuesday that Riyadh is ready to engage in negotiations with Iran on the improvement of mutual relations.
He added “We will talk with them in the hope that if there are any differences, they will be settled to the satisfaction of both countries.”
Iran and Saudi Arabia remain split over several regional issues such as the situation in Syria and Bahrain.
Tehran has always been critical of Riyadh’s support for the heavy-handed crackdown of the Bahraini regime on peaceful protesters.
Riyadh also supports foreign-backed militants fighting the Syrian government, while Iran stresses the importance of resolving the crisis in Syria through political approaches.
Moreover, Saudi officials have on several occasions expressed their opposition to an interim deal reached between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany last November on Tehran’s nuclear energy program.