Iran’s president criticises Israel during a meeting with a senior Saudi official in Tehran

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Tehran – On Saturday in Tehran, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi met with Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and sharply denounced Israel.

After a seven-year absence from formal contacts, Saudi Arabia and Iran declared in March that they had come to an agreement, mediated by China.

According to Iranian state news agency IRNA, Raisi informed Prince Faisal that “only the enemies of Islam, led by the Zionist regime (Israel), are upset with the progress in bilateral and regional cooperation between Iran and Saudi Arabia.”

Raisi also voiced his opposition to initiatives aimed at improving ties with Israel, saying: “The Zionist dictatorship is not only a menace to all Muslims; it is an adversary of the Palestinians. In addition to failing to advance security, normalising relations with Israel goes against the views of the Islamic Ummah.

According to the Saudi foreign ministry, Prince Faisal and President Raisi’s conversations centred on assessing their bilateral ties and looking into ways to deepen and broaden their cooperation in a variety of areas.

The two officials also discussed current events on the regional and global levels, highlighting ongoing initiatives in these fields, it was said.

The senior diplomat of Saudi Arabia met with Hossein Amir-Abdollahian of Iran earlier on Saturday. The

Raisi also voiced his opposition to initiatives aimed at improving ties with Israel, saying: “The Zionist dictatorship is not only a menace to all Muslims; it is an adversary of the Palestinians. In addition to failing to advance security, normalising relations with Israel goes against the views of the Islamic Ummah.

According to the Saudi foreign ministry, Prince Faisal and President Raisi’s conversations centred on assessing their bilateral ties and looking into ways to deepen and broaden their cooperation in a variety of areas.

The two officials also discussed current events on the regional and global levels, highlighting ongoing initiatives in these fields, it was said.

The top diplomat for Saudi Arabia met with his Iranian colleague, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, earlier on Saturday. At the building housing the Iranian foreign ministry, the two parties engaged in bilateral discussions that were followed by a news conference.

Speaking on the meetings, Prince Faisal said they were “positive” and “stressed the necessity of non-interference in internal affairs.”

Riyadh, he continued, hopes that the thawing of ties with Tehran will benefit the region and the world at large.

The statement from Prince Faisal continued, “I would like to refer to the importance of cooperation between the two countries on regional security, especially the security of maritime navigation… and the importance of cooperation among all regional countries to ensure that it is free of weapons of mass destruction.”

The top Saudi diplomat declared that he will invite Raisi to visit Saudi Arabia on behalf of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. According to Amir-Abdollahian, the two parties looked into creating a “joint economic, political, and border committee.”

In accordance with the March agreement, Riyadh and Tehran agreed to implement security and economic cooperation accords that were inked more than 20 years ago, as well as reopen embassies and consulates in each other’s countries.

Following an assault by pro-regime protestors on its embassies in Tehran and Mashhad, Saudi Arabia suspended its ties with Iran in 2016.

This month, Iran’s embassy in Riyadh reopened. However, an Al Arabiya correspondent reported on Saturday that the Saudi embassy in Tehran and consulate in Mashhad will resume operations after the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, which is anticipated to start in late June and end at the start of July. Saudi Arabia has not yet specified when it will reopen its embassy in Tehran.

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