Iran's Zarif calls for Riyadh-Tehran cooperation
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called on Saudi Arabia Monday to cooperate with Tehran on "[achieving regional] stability," according to Agence France-Presse.
Zarif, speaking during a visit to Oman as part of a tour to assure Gulf States that Tehran's nuclear deal is in the interest of the region, told AFP that "We believe that Iran and Saudi Arabia should work together in order to promote peace and stability in the region."
Zarif's comments Monday reiterate the FM's statement Sunday that "Saudi Arabia [is] an important and influential regional country and we are working to strengthen the cooperation with it for the benefit of the region."
Long considered regional rivals, KSA and Iran have not set a date for Zarif to visit Riyadh, and it is not clear from reports if any date will be set in the future.
Zarif told Reuters that KSA should now see the nuclear deal as a threat, emphasizing that the agreement "cannot be at the expense of any country in the region."
The six country members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have feared Iranian influence in the Middle East, seeing recent diplomacy as a potential way to "stir sectarian tensions" between Shi'ite Iran and the Sunni GCC. However, many of the Gulf Arab states who are aligned with the US, have "cautiously welcomed" the nuclear deal, with the stipulation that the deal would contribute to their respective country's security.
Last week, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed became the first Gulf Arab official to visit Tehran since the Nov. 24 agreement was signed.
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