Iran, Saudi Arabia Sign Long-Awaited Security Deal
Iran and Saudi Arabia signed an historic security accord Tuesday to cooperate in fighting crime, terrorism, and money laundering, as well as in the surveillance of borders and territorial waters, the official IRNA agency reported.
The deal, which took two years to negotiate, was signed by Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz and his Iranian counterpart Abdolvahed Mussavi-Lari, the agency said.
"This agreement promises peace and friendship and Iran has always reached out a hand of friendship to its neighbours," Lari said at a joint news conference.
Prince Nayef, who came to Tehran with a 130-strong delegation, said the agreement lies within the framework of confidence-building, adding that "the region should enjoy full security and the agreement should benefit the whole region," IRNA reported.
The deal between two of the region's most powerful countries is purely related to mutual security and "has no military dimension," notably relating to the Gulf, Prince Nayef said in January.
Tehran and Riyadh broke off relations in 1988, a year after Iranian Muslim pilgrims in Mecca clashed with Saudi police during an anti-US protest leaving more than 400 dead.
Ties were restored in 1991 and relations between the two countries have warmed since the 1997 election of Iranian President Mohammad Khatami -- TEHRAN, (AFP)
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