Iran says ready to receive Saudi with ‘open embrace’


Iran is ready to receive Saudi Arabia with an “open embrace” provided that the kingdom does not delegate its security to others, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Wednesday.  

“We have always said that we are seeking agreement with our neighbors and we do not want tensions,” Zarif said in statements at the end of a cabinet meeting and cited by the official IRNA news agency.  

“If the Saudi government realizes that by not acquiring arms and transferring its sovereignty to others, it cannot reach security and move toward the region, it will surely face an open embrace by Iran,” he said.  

Tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran has mounted recently after attacks on two oil facilities of Aramco, an attack for which Riyadh and Washington held Tehran responsible, which the country has denied.  

Saudi Arabia also accuses Iran of arming Houthi rebels in Yemen, which overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa, in 2014.  

On Monday, an Iranian government spokesman said Riyadh had sent messages to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani through the leaders of other countries, a claim denied by Riyadh.  

Meanwhile, Zarif warned that Tehran would reduce its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal if Europeans failed to fulfill their obligations.  

“Our efforts will continue in different directions, while we are firm in our viewpoints that we will pursue our actions if the Europeans do not fulfill their obligations,” he said.  

Tensions between Iran and U.S. have worsened since U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew last year from the nuclear deal before reimposing sanctions against Tehran’s oil and banking sectors.  

Iran has since insisted that Europe must provide it additional economic support if they want to save the deal.  

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