Saudi Arabia’s crown prince has struck a conciliatory tone towards the kingdom’s arch-nemesis, Iran, saying he sought “good” relations after reports the rivals held secret talks recently in Baghdad.
The two countries, locked in a fierce struggle for regional dominance, cut ties in 2016 after Iranian protesters attacked Saudi diplomatic missions following the kingdom’s execution of a revered Shia cleric.
“Iran is a neighbouring country, and all we aspire for is a good and special relationship with Iran,” Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) said in a television interview broadcast with the Middle East Broadcasting Center late Tuesday.
“We do not want Iran’s situation to be difficult. On the contrary, we want Iran to grow … and to push the region and the world towards prosperity.”
MBS added that Riyadh was working with regional and global partners to find solutions to Tehran’s “negative behaviour”, mentioning Tehran’s nuclear and programmes and support for proxies around the Middle East.
“We hope to overcome them and build a good and positive relationship with Iran that would benefit everyone,” Prince Mohammed said during the interview that lasted 90 minutes.