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Rouhani: Ready to restore ties with Saudi Arabia

News - Middle East

President Hassan Rouhani said he is ready to restore ties if Saudi Arabia stops bombing Yemen and cuts ties with Israel.

In a speech broadcast Sunday, President Hassan Rouhani said that Iran is ready to restore ties with Saudi Arabia if it stops bombing Yemen and cuts its alleged ties with Israel.

Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran in January 2016 after Iranian demonstrators attacked Saudi diplomatic missions in response to the Saudi execution of a prominent Shiite dissident leader.

Tensions spiked again last month after the Houthis fired a ballistic missile that was intercepted near Riyadh.

Rouhani said that Iran and Saudi Arabia could have "good relations" if the Saudis end their "misguided friendship" with Israel and halt the "inhuman bombardment" of Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is battling Iranian-allied rebels known as Houthis.

Iranian media quoted Rouhani as saying: "If Saudi Arabia, our neighbouring country, stops bombing Yemen from tomorrow and stand up against Israel and relies on its own people, we do not see any barriers in front of improving our relations with them."

"We are not like America that has broken its promises so far in the nuclear deal. when we sign an agreement, we will remain loyal to it and keep our promises."

The president went on as saying "we are Muslim and Iranian, and we have a long and old culture, we are not the one who violates the nuclear agreement. In case the other side does this, we will have our own options."

At the end of his speech, Rohani concluded that "Palestine has been and will remain our cause, and the United States and the Zionist regime will not succeed in their recent conspiracy, and God willing, the Islamic nations will liberate al-Quds soon."

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in June, according to Reuters, that any future war waged by Israel against Syria or Lebanon could draw in fighters from countries including Iran and Iraq.

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