Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi says Saudi Arabia must stop pursuing anti-Iran policies and leveling accusations against the Islamic Republic, expressing Tehran’s readiness to hold negotiations with Riyadh.
“We do not want our problems to continue with neighboring states and our foreign policy is based on the establishment of constructive relations with other countries, including the Persian Gulf littoral states,” Qassemi said.
He added that the issues between Tehran and Riyadh are not very complicated, saying, “What undermined mutual relations was misunderstanding and unfounded accusations against Iran.”
Relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia soured after a deadly human crush occurred during Hajj rituals in Mina, near Mecca, in September 2015. Saudi Arabia initially published a death toll of 770, but refused to update it despite gradually surging fatality figures from individual countries whose nationals had been among the victims of the crush.
Iran said about 4,700 people, including over 465 of its nationals, lost their lives in the incident.
Mutual ties deteriorated further when Riyadh executed prominent Shia cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, in January 2016. Saudi Arabia unilaterally severed its diplomatic ties with Iran after protests in front of its diplomatic premises in the cities of Tehran and Mashhad against Nimr’s execution.