Zarif ready to visit Riyadh to reduce tensions

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif

Tehran, Oct 22 Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that he was ready to visit Saudi Arabia to help reduce the ongoing tensions between Riyadh and Tehran.

“If suitable conditions are provided, I would be ready to travel to Riyadh to settle differences” between the two countries,” Iran’s top diplomat Zarif made the remarks while answering a question posed by Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah news agency on the sidelines of a conference held in Tehran on Monday.

“Tehran welcomes any initiative that aims to ease tensions in the region…,” he added.

Zarif also said that he was in constant contact with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan who visited Tehran earlier this month and held talks with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani.

Khamenei told Imran that a proper end to the ongoing war waged by Saudi Arabia and its allies on Yemen can have “positive” effects on the region, highlighting Iran’s plan as a suitable solution to this crisis.

Tensions have been high between Iran and Saudi Arabia since the September 14 attacks on two Aramco oil facilities that disrupted about half of the company’s total output – shutting down 5.7 million barrels per day of production – more than 5 per cent of global oil supply.

The Yemeni Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attack but the US and Saudi Arabia blamed Iran for it, an allegation which has been denied by Tehran.

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