Iran Warns Saudi Arabia to Stop Adding Fuel to Fire

Foreign Minister of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif said Riyadh must end its prolonged efforts to confront Iran.

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Iran warned Saudi Arabia to stop working against it as their diplomatic crisis intensified despite efforts to defuse a row that has raised fears of regional instability.

In the latest salvo in a dispute that has seen Saudi Arabia and some of its Sunni Arab allies cut ties with Tehran, Foreign Minister of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif said Riyadh must end its prolonged efforts to confront Iran.

In a joint press conference in Tehran with Iraqi foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Zarif said:

For the past two-and-a-half years, Saudi Arabia has opposed Iran’s diplomacy. Saudi Arabia has moved against our efforts and, unfortunately, they opposed the nuclear agreement. This trend of creating tension must stop. We need to stand united[...]and stop those who are adding fuel to the fire.

The spike in tensions came after Iran secured a historic nuclear deal with world powers led by the United States last year, causing major concern in longtime US ally Riyadh.

The row between Saudi Arabia, the main Sunni power, and Shiite-dominated Iran erupted following Riyadh’s execution on Saturday of prominent Shiite cleric and activist Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

Riyadh cut ties with Tehran in response and was joined by several of its Sunni Arab allies including Bahrain and Sudan. The United Arab Emirates also downgraded relations with Iran and Kuwait recalled its ambassador.

The row has raised fears of an increase in sectarian tensions in the Middle East that could derail efforts to resolve pressing issues including the wars in Syria and Yemen.

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Topics:  Sheik Nimr al-Nimr 

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