This Year’s Hajj Litmus Test for Bilateral Ties with Saudis: Iran

Iranian president says the presence of Iranian pilgrims in this year’s Hajj pilgrimage is a good way to test Saudi Arabia’s behaviour, and can pave the way for better relations between Tehran and Riyadh if they pass the test.

Speaking in a Tuesday live interview with Iran’s state TV, President Hassan Rouhani said the presence of Iranian pilgrims in this year’s Hajj in Saudi Arabia is a good way to test the kingdom’s conduct.

“If they (Saudis) behave within the framework of international and religious norms, I think better conditions will be created for us to settle the problems,” he noted.

Rouhani stressed that Iran favours friendly ties with all of its neighbours, attributing the tense relations with a few neighbours to the problems created by Saudi Arabia.

He then called on Saudi Arabia to stop interfering in Yemen and supporting the terrorist groups, saying in that case the tensions between Tehran and Riyadh could be resolved, Tasnim reported.

Iran-IAEA Ties Unaffected by US Pressure

Rouhani further referred to the recent visit of US President Donald Trump’s envoy Nikki Haley to Vienna to put the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) under pressure, and said what shapes the relations between Iran and the IAEA is the regulations, not the US and its pressures.

It is unlikely that the IAEA would give in to the US pressure, he noted, saying all reports by the UN nuclear watchdog have verified Iran’s close cooperation with the agency and compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a nuclear agreement between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany).

President Rouhani also highlighted the US inability to unite the international community against Iran, saying, “The US has now the worst conditions, conversely, Iran has the best situation.”

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