The Saudi crown prince wants better relations with Iran
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has said his country wants good relations with Iran.
In an interview with Al Arabiya television, Mohammed bin Salman said that Saudi Arabia wanted Iran’s cooperation in moving the Middle East towards progress.
However, the Saudi prince reminded that they have some problems with Iran. In particular, Iran’s nuclear program, missile tests and assistance to banned weapons.
He said Saudi Arabia was working with its regional and global allies to address these issues.
The Saudi prince’s remarks came as news broke that Iranian and Saudi officials had met in a secret meeting in Iraq to discuss improving relations.
Sources in Saudi Arabia have denied the allegations. However, Iran has not acknowledged or denied the allegations. Iran says it welcomes any kind of dialogue.
Tensions have been running high for decades between Saudi Arabia, led by Sunni Muslim-majority countries, and Iran, a Shiite-majority country, to maintain regional dominance.
But in recent years, tensions have risen in the Middle East as proxy wars have been waged against each other.
Relations between the two countries have deteriorated, especially with the war in Yemen.
A coalition of Sunni Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East, led by Saudi Arabia, is backing government-backed forces in Yemen.
On the other hand, Iran has been supporting the Houthi rebels since 2015. However, Iran has denied providing any weapons to the rebels.
Saudi Arabia also blamed Iran for intervening in Lebanon and Iraq.
In an interview broadcast on Tuesday night, the Saudi prince said his country did not want relations with Iran to be complicated.
“After all, Iran is our neighbor and we want good relations with them,” said Mohammed bin Salman.
Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s remarks about Iran are much more restrained than in the past. Earlier in 2016, Mohammad bin Salman compared Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to Hitler.
Asked about the war in Yemen, Mohammed bin Salman said no country would want armed militias on its borders.
The Saudi prince called on Yemen’s Houthi rebels to resolve the crisis at the negotiating table.
# Crown Prince
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