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Iran Sets Precondition for Saudi Talks

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, May 25 (ICANA) – A senior Iranian official says Iran's precondition for holding talks with Saudi Arabia over the political crises spreading across the region is that Riyadh withdraws its troops from Bahrain.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011 10:24:11 AM
Iran Sets Precondition for Saudi Talks

Amir Hossein Abdollahian, the director of Iranian Foreign Ministry's Persian Gulf and Middle East Department, also denied media reports that Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi was making efforts to initiate talks with Saudi officials over the region's political crises.

“Iran's condition for holding talks with Saudi Arabia is that that country withdraws its troops from Bahrain. As long as Saudi forces do not leave Bahrain and the Saudis do not end their behavior with regards to Bahrain, there would be no justification for holding talks with Riyadh,” Abdollahian told IRNA on Tuesday.

He stressed that the Islamic Republic would welcome normal ties with Saudi Arabia but that does not necessarily mean that “talks should be held while ignoring what is happening on the ground.”

However, he reiterated that this does not mean we will stop the dialogue with Riyadh. "There are different ways to exchange views and tell our Saudi friends that their Bahrain policy has faults and undermines their credibility,” he added.

After the popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, the people of Bahrain revolted against the pro-Western Al Khalifa ruling family.

Since the beginning of anti-regime protests in Bahrain in mid-February, Manama has launched a harsh crackdown on anti-government protesters, rounding up senior opposition figures and activists in dawn raids and arresting doctors, nurses, lawyers and journalists who have voiced support for the protest movement.

In March, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait dispatched troops to Bahrain to help the government quell anti-government protests.

Dozens have so far been killed and scores have been declared missing. International human rights organizations have denounced the atrocious clampdown on Bahraini people and political activists. Nevertheless, the brutal Saudi-backed clampdown on protesters continues to persist in the country.

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