A top Iranian official ruled out the possibility of direct negotiations between Tehran and Riyadh, saying any emergency case will be pursued through diplomatic channels.
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari says there will be no direct contacts and talks between Tehran and Riyadh, and that diplomatic and indirect channels will be used in urgent cases.
In a Farsi interview with IRNA, Jaberi Ansari has weighed in on the latest developments concerning Qatar’s relations with Arab countries, Iran’s actions in that regard and the possibility of Iranian officials putting consultations and trips on their agenda to help settle the row.
“After what happened in Qatar, Iran adopted an active policy,” said Jaberi Ansari.
He noted that Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had numerous contacts with some of his counterparts at the regional and international level.
“The contacts were aimed at inviting parties involved to exercise calm and restraint, and handle the situation based on prudence, logic and rationality.”
He noted that Iran is not seeking momentary opportunities.
“We have a long-run approach. Trips have also been made or are underway between [officials of] Iran and regional countries,” he said.
“Not all measures adopted are necessarily announced as we believe in taking action in a low-profile manner,” the top diplomat underlined.
He said the region is in a sensitive situation, which sometimes makes it all the more necessary not to turn the spotlight on the measures adopted.
“Within this framework, moves are underway, and will continue to be underway later on,” the top official underlined.
“We view even negative developments with a positive look in a bid to create opportunities rather than cashing in on the situation, an approach which serves the interests of regional countries,” he said.
“Our moves are underway in this very path, and we hope the consequences of the recent developments will help establish a more positive atmosphere in order not only to solve this problem, but settle the chronic differences which have emerged in the region in recent years,” he underscored.
No direct talks are on the agenda of Iran and Saudi Arabia. The necessary cases will be handled through diplomatic channels.
Jaberi Ansari also touched upon a trip to Iran by a delegation from Riyadh to visit the Saudi embassy in Tehran as well as a visit to Saudi Arabia by an Iranian delegation to discuss the Hajj pilgrimage issue.
“Talks are underway on the Hajj pilgrimage, and the visit by an Iranian consular team during the Hajj season was aimed at following up on the rights of our nationals. The discussions were held between the Saudi Hajj Ministry and Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organisation,” said Jaberi Ansari.
“Details of that issue are being pursued through diplomatic channels,” he added.
“It’s natural that the two sides should reach full agreement on the details of this issue in order to handle the affairs pertaining to Iranian nationals during the Hajj season in a logical way,” the spokesman said.
He then said visits to Iranian and Saudi embassies are on the agenda of both sides.
“No final decision has been made on this issue yet. Any move would be reciprocal, on an equal footing and in conformity with a mutual agreement on details, and will be adopted only if the two countries reach agreement on details and in a completely reciprocal way.”
He quoted the Iranian Judiciary as saying that the legal case of the attack on Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Tehran is running its course.
Visits to Iranian and Saudi embassies are on the agenda, and will be announced if finalised, he added.
The deputy foreign minister said no direct talks are on the agenda between the delegations of both countries as well as the two countries’ foreign ministers.
He noted that necessary cases will be handled through diplomatic channels.