Iran open to starting dialogue with Saudi Arabia: Speaker

TEHRAN, Oct. 02 (MNA) – Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani in an interview with Al Jazeera said Tehran is open to the idea of starting a dialogue with Saudi Arabia, adding that an Iranian-Saudi dialogue could solve many of the region's security and political problems.

Ali Larijani made the comments in an interview with Al Jazeera that aired on Tuesday, days after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) told CBS he would prefer a peaceful resolution with Iran in settling regional security disputes, as opposed to military conflict.

"Iran is open to starting a dialogue with Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region," Larijani said in Tehran.

"An Iranian-Saudi dialogue could solve many of the region's security and political problems."

Larijani also said that Saudi Arabia does not need to rely or depend on its main ally, the United States.

"Riyadh can submit its proposals to be discussed at the Iranian-Saudi dialogue table without pre-conditions from our side," Larijani said.

"We also welcome what has been quoted that Prince Mohammed bin Salman wants dialogue, as perhaps it is good to know Saudi Arabia is thinking of the region's interests first," he added, referring to the crown prince's comments made in the interview with the CBS 60 Minutes program that aired on Sunday.

The crown prince warned in the interview that a military confrontation with Iran would collapse the global economy, adding that he would prefer a political and peaceful solution to a military one.

Al Jazeera quoted Larijani as saying that Iran has called on Yemen's Ansarullah to accept any ceasefire agreement with Saudi Arabia, adding that this would also be in the interest of Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the former Riyadh-friendly government back to power and crushing Ansarullah.

The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict research organization, estimates that the war has claimed more than 91,000 lives over the past four and a half years.

The war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.

MNA/4734577

News Code 150735

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