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Iran Reaches Out to Saudi Arabia | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- An Iranian diplomat has revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that Ambassador Mohammad Jalal Feyrozina, director of the Gulf and Middle East Desk at the Iranian Foreign Ministry, conveyed a verbal message from [Foreign Minister] Manouchehr Mottaki to his Saudi counterpart, Prince Saud al-Faisal, with the aim of activating Riyadh-Tehran relations.

Mohammad Omran, charge d’affaires and first counselor at the Iranian Embassy in Riyadh, said that the aim behind the Iranian Foreign Ministry official’s visit to Riyadh was to convey a verbal message from the Iranian foreign minister to his Saudi counterpart on relations between the two countries.

According to the Iranian diplomat, who spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat by telephone, the message, which Feyrozina conveyed from Motaki, indicates that “Iran is completely ready to resume negotiation and consultation with the Saudis on the issues of the region.”

Mohammad Omran, who runs the Iranian Embassy in Riyadh after the ambassador left at the end of his term, said that the meeting between Feyrozina and Al-Faisal focused on three points: Activation of relations, bringing ideas and views closer, and consultation on issues of common interest.

The charge d’affaires of the Iranian Embassy in Riyadh noted that Saudi Arabia and Iran are important states and enjoy a special status in the region. He added that it will be useful to resume consultations between them after a break that lasted a while.

Omran was asked if the visit dealt with Saudi Arabia’s concern over Iran’s nuclear program and whether Tehran is ready to give guarantees and assurances to Riyadh and other Gulf capitals on this issue. He replied: “We are ready for understandings and consultations with all states of the region. We believe that our atomic activity is intended for peaceful purposes, and we reassure our neighbors in the Gulf on this issue.”

The charge d’affaires of the Iranian Embassy in Riyadh did not rule out the possibility of Iranian officials visiting Saudi Arabia in the future as part of efforts to activate the relations between Riyadh and Tehran.

In reply to a question as to whether there is coordination for other Iranian officials to visit Riyadh, he said: “there are no arrangements at present, naturally, however, any effort to improve relations requires exchange of visits, and this is what is expected to take place in the coming period.”