Iran to continue showing restraint in face of Saudi hostilities: Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif underlined that Tehran will continue its policy to exercise self-restraint in the face of tensions created by Riyadh, but if the Arab kingdom is unwilling to reduce the tensions, Iran’s efforts will get nowhere.

Speaking to a Persian-language daily published on Wednesday, Zarif said Iran has remained committed to its pledge to promote relations with neighboring countries as one of its priorities.

“the Islamic Republic of Iran wants stability in Saudi Arabia,” he told Etemad, adding that Tehran will continue the policy of self-restraint in the face of Riyadh’s tensions.

He added that however, if the Saudi side is reluctant to de-escalate the tensions, Iran’s efforts to improve the ties will reach nowhere.

The comments came after Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir delivered a harsh speech against Iran at the recent Munich Security Conference in Germany.

Ties between Tehran and Riyadh have strained in recent years after their conflicting views on regional developments, particularly on Yemen and Syria, became more noticeable.

The relations further deteriorated after a crush of pilgrims in Mina, near Saudi Arabia’s Mecca, in September 2015 killed 465 Iranians.

Tehran has blamed the deaths on the Al Saud’s mismanagement of the Hajj pilgrimage and criticized Riyadh for “lack of cooperation” on restoring the rights of families of the victims.