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EghtesadOnline: President Hassan Rouhani said Iran has no problem with revival of relations with Saudi Arabia, which has severed diplomatic ties with Iran since 2016.

"We need to leave the past behind and look to the future and resolve the issues of the region through cooperation," he said in a meeting with the visiting Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi on Tuesday, reported. 

Relations between Tehran and Riyadh had been strained since King Salman ascended to the throne in 2015 and adopted an anti-Iran stance. 

The two Persian Gulf neighbors eventually cut all diplomatic and trade ties after Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi Embassy in Tehran and its consulate in Mashhad following the Saudi execution of eminent Shia cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, without due process in January 2016, according to Financial Tribune.

An ally of the United States, Saudi Arabia has been echoing Washington's claims about recent tensions in the region, blaming Iran for attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf and later on key Saudi oil facilities. 

Iran denies involvement in the incidents and calls for regional dialogue and cooperation to address the differences. 

"We believe that to ensure security and stability in the region, all [regional] countries need to stand together," Rouhani said, adding that there is no solution, except "friendship and fraternity" among regional nations. 

Along this line, he stressed, Iran has proposed the Hormuz Peace Endeavor to encourage all regional countries to play an active role in protecting Middle East security.

The plan, introduced by Rouhani during his address to the United Nations General Assembly in September, invites regional countries as well as the UN to work together to establish peace. 

"We need to ensure regional security, particularly in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, by improving cooperation, and refuse to allow foreigners to interfere," he said, referring to attempts by the United States and Europe to set up security missions in the strategic waters.  

Bin Alawi welcomed the Hormuz proposal, saying it would be beneficial for the whole region. 

"Iran's initiative in proposing the Hormuz peace plan will definitely serve the interests of all and the stability and security of regional states," he said. 



Tehran- Muscat Ties 

The president also highlighted friendly relations between Iran and Oman, calling for efforts to further improve ties in all sectors, including trade, science, culture, shipping and tourism.  

He said bilateral economic relations have seen great developments and the 18th joint commission on Tehran-Muscat cooperation, which is due on Dec. 7, will hopefully further strengthen ties. 

According to Rouhani, facilitating banking relations, forging connections between Iranian and Omani businesspeople and accelerating the process of implementing agreements are of utmost importance. 

"Oman can become a hub for Iran's trade in the region," he said. 

Trade between Iran and Oman stood at $220 million over the first six months of the current Iranian year (started March 21). The two countries have set an annual trade target of $4 billion. 

Bin Alawi underlined Muscat’s efforts to expand relations with Iran, saying it will be in the interest of regional countries. 

"Iran and Oman share similar views about many regional and international issues," he said. 


Iran relations Saudi Arabia Hassan Rouhani ties Saudi Revival