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Saudi Arabia denies seeking mediation with Iran

King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz attends a Shura Council meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia [Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Royal Council / Handout/Anadolu]
King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz [Bandar Algaloud/Handout/Anadolu]

Saudi Arabia has denied reports that it is seeking mediation with regional Shia rival Iran.

An official Saudi source said today that the current Iranian regime "cannot be negotiated with".

"Saudi Arabia has not requested any mediation in any way with the Republic of Iran," the source said in a statement cited by the official SPA news agency.

The denial came after Iraqi Interior Minister Qasim Al-Araji said Riyadh has officially asked for Iraq's mediation to ease tensions with Tehran.

The Saudi source renewed accusations that Tehran is "spreading terrorism and extremism".

The source reiterated

[Saudi's] adherence to its firm position that rejects any rapprochement with the Iranian regime which is spreading terrorism and extremism in the region and the world and is interfering in the affairs of other countries.

He went on to call on countries around the world "to work to deter the Iranian regime from its hostile actions and compel it to comply with the international law."

Tensions have mounted between Saudi Arabia and Iran since Riyadh cut diplomatic ties with Tehran after Saudi diplomatic missions were attacked by Iranian protesters early last year.

The attacks were prompted by the execution of a prominent Shia cleric in Saudi Arabia for terror offences.

Read: Iran is pursuing a fragile coalition in the Middle East

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies accuse Tehran of arming and supporting Yemen's Shia Houthi group that overran the Yemeni capital Sana'a and other parts of the country in 2014.

The six-year-old conflict in Syria has also contributed to the deterioration of Gulf-Iranian relations. While Shia Iran is a close ally of the regime of Syria's Bashar Al-Assad, Saudi Arabia is a primary backer of Syria's anti-regime armed opposition.

IranMiddle EastNewsSaudi Arabia
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