Iran says it’s prepared for dialogue if Saudi Arabia is also ready.
“If Saudi Arabia is ready for dialogue, we are always ready for dialogue with our neighbors,” Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told the IRIB news agency.
“We have never closed the door to dialogue with our neighbors and we will never close the door to dialogue with our neighbors.”
The attacks on the oil tankers came as the United States, Saudi Arabia’s major big power ally, toughened sanctions on Iran in an attempt to force it into negotiations on stricter limits to its nuclear activity and curbs on its ballistic missile program.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and de facto ruler, Mohammed bin Salman, called on the international community in mid-June to take a “decisive stand” over the tanker attacks, but said the kingdom did not want a war in the region.
Riyadh also accuses Iran of supplying missiles and drones used in cross-border attacks on Saudi cities by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis, a charge both the group and Tehran reject.
Zarif also said Iran could hold similar talks with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a close ally of the Saudis, adding, “If they change their policies it is a very good opportunity for dialogue”.
Iran had maritime security talks on Tuesday with the UAE in an apparent effort to calm tensions in the Gulf.
The UAE Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency WAM on Wednesday, that the talks covered “routine maritime issues” including maritime connections, smuggling, fishermen and shared borders.