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EghtesadOnline: Iraqi Interior Minister Qasim al-Araji says the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has formally asked him to mediate with Iran to curb the tension between the two countries.

Speaking in a press conference with his Iranian counterpart Abdolreza Rahmani Fadhli in Tehran, al-Araji referred to his recent visit to Saudi Arabia and his meeting with bin Salman, and said, “He officially asked for Iraq’s mediation between Iran and Saudi Arabia to ease tensions”.

"The Saudi side informed Iran that the first step that could lead to the easing of tension between them is for Riyadh to treat Iranian pilgrims positively, and allowing them to visit the cemetery of Baqi," ISNA quoted him as saying.

“The Saudi side has made certain promises in this regard, and the doors to the cemetery are already open to Iranian pilgrims,” al-Araji said, adding that Tehran-Riyadh friendly relations will help ensure regional security.

Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, for his part, highlighted the importance of respecting and maintaining the dignity of Iranian Hajj pilgrims, saying Tehran has always sought cordial relations with Saudi Arabia.

“Iran’s policy is to have effective cooperation with regional states, and Tehran has never been the first to sever its relations with others,” he added.

He also expressed the hope that regional countries would join hands and seek to resolve the problems of Muslims while enjoying their people’s support and avoiding the real enemies of Islam.

“We hope collaborations will continue between Iranian and Iraqi interior ministries for realizing more comprehensive cooperation in security, trade, economic and tourism arenas,” highlighted Rahmani Fazli.

He said the two sides could also cooperate on organized crime, drug trafficking, counter terrorism and border issues.

Rahmani Fazli later urged the Iraqi side to remove hurdles faced by Iranian traders as regards visa issuance. He also noted that visa for Arba’een ceremony had to be issued in advance, preferably in an electronic way, in order to avoid numerous future difficulties.


Mohammed bin Salman Iran Saudi Qasim al-Araji