Saudi could leave behind dispute if Iran changes policies

Saudi and Gulf monarchies could turn page and build relations if Iran stops 'meddling in others affairs' and changes it's policies

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

File photo of Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir

Updated Mar 10, 2016

If Iran changes its policies and stops meddling in others affairs, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf monarchies could turn a page and build strong relations, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir said Wednesday.

"If Iran changes its way and its policies, nothing would prevent turning a page and building the best relationship based on good neighbourliness, with no meddling in the affairs of others," he told reporters in Riyadh.

Al Jubeir stated that “there is no need for mediation” in such a case.

Diplomatic tension arose between Saudi Arabia and Iran in January after crowds attacked the Saudi embassy in Iran following the execution of cleric, Nimr al Nimr, and 46 others under “terrorism allegations.”

Relations had deteriorated “due to sectarian policies” followed by Iran’s “support for terrorism and implanting terrorist cells in the countries of the region,” Jubeir said.

"Iran is a neighbouring Muslim country that has a great civilisation and a friendly people, but the policies followed that the revolution of Khomeini have been aggressive," he said.

Jubeir spoke after a meeting with Gulf foreign ministers and their counterparts from Jordan and Morocco.

In a joint statement, ministers urged Iran to respect the nuclear deal it reached with world powers, including curbs on ballistic missiles, as Tehran allegedly fired two missiles on Wednesday.

The United States would take action against Iran if the missile tests were confirmed, US Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday.

Lebanon criticised

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations condemn Iran for supporting Houthi rebels in Yemen, in an attempt to destabilise the country.

Jubeir said Saudi Arabia sees a call by a Houthi official for Iran to stay out of Yemen as positive, and the country is committed to a political solution to Yemen’s war under UN backed peace efforts.

Saudi Arabia also supports the opposition in Syria’s five-year-old civil-war, while Tehran openly backs the Bashar al Assad regime.

Assad could choose to leave power either through a political process “or the Syrian people will continue to fight until they oust him militarily,” Jubeir said.

Gulf nations recently classified Iran-backed Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia, which has been fighting alongside the Syrian regime, since early in the conflict, as “a terrorist group.”

Saudi Arabia recently cancelled its $3 billion military aid to Lebanon’s Security Forces after Lebanon backed Iran during the January period of tension.

"What is disturbing in the Lebanon question is that a militia that is classified as ‘terrorist’ controls decision-making in Lebanon," Jubeir said.

Foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council will look into measures that “would prevent Hezbollah from benefitting from GCC states,” Jubeir said when asked about sanctions against Hezbollah.

Riyadh and its Gulf allies have stepped up sanctions against Hezbollah since 2013, for its support of the Assad regime in the Syrian civil-war.

TRTWorld and agencies