Zarif Tells Saudis If They Want To Be Secure, They Have To End Their War in Yemen
“Buying weapons will not buy you security. If Saudi Arabia wants to be secure, the best way is to end the war in Yemen.”
By Staff, Agencies
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the Islamic Republic welcomes efforts by intermediaries to arrange talks with Saudi Arabia, including those by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan who is due to arrive in Tehran on Saturday.
"We've always been open to discussing anything with Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is our neighbor. We're going to be here together permanently," Zarif said in an interview with Turkey's TRT World.
"We don't have any choice but to talk to each other, and we have been open to talking to Saudi Arabia either directly or through intermediaries," he noted.
"We've never rejected any intermediary... We've always been open to mediation, and we've always been open to direct talks with our Saudi neighbors," the top diplomat noted when asked about the upcoming visit of Pakistan's Imran Khan to Tehran.
Khan will embark on an official visit to Iran and Saudi Arabia as part of Islamabad’s efforts to defuse increasing tensions in the Middle East, diplomatic sources announced Friday.
He will on Saturday leave Islamabad for Tehran, where he is scheduled to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday. Khan will later in the day travel to Riyadh for meetings with Saudi officials.
During Khan’s last visit to Riyadh, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman [MBS] had asked him to help defuse tensions with Iran, Pakistan's leading English-language newspaper Dawn reported.
The announcement of the Khan’s visit comes after The New York Times quoted officials of Iraq and Pakistan as saying that MBS had asked the leaders of those two countries in recent weeks to speak with their Iranian counterparts about de-escalation.
Zarif further emphasized that Saudi Arabia needs to start good relations with its neighbors if it wants to be secure.
"Buying weapons will not buy you security. If Saudi Arabia wants to be secure, the best way is to end the war in Yemen, to start good relations with its neighbors and the neighborhood, and not to trust the US," he said.
Zarif also referred to a peace plan, officially called Hormuz Peace Endeavor [HOPE], proposed by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during his recent speech at the annual meeting of the UN General Assembly, saying the initiative calls on "all eight countries in the Gulf region to join in an attempt to bring peace through dialogue."
"We hope it can be discussed and further enriched by our neighbors," he added.