DUBAI, Oct 20 (Reuters) – Iran said on Thursday that the rulers of regional foe Saudi Arabia should end their dependence on Israel, according to the semi-official Tasnim news agency. , in an apparent reference to the growing ties between Israel and the Gulf Arab states.
‘You are counting on a collapsing Israel, and that will be the end of your era,’ said Hossein Salami, the commander-in-chief of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, in what he called a ‘warning’ to the leader of the kingdom, Al-Saud family.
Salami’s statement contradicts recent comments by a senior adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader who called for the reopening of embassies to facilitate rapprochement between Tehran and Riyadh.
“We are neighbors of Saudi Arabia and we have to coexist. The embassies of both countries should reopen in order to better solve our problems,” Ali Akbar Velayati said on Wednesday.
Last year, Tehran and Riyadh began direct talks in a bid to improve their relationship, which fell apart when diplomatic ties between the two countries were severed in 2016. Baghdad has so far hosted five rounds of talks, the last in April.
Saudi Arabia has signaled its support for the so-called Abraham Accords under which the UAE and Bahrain forged relations with Israel two years ago. But Riyadh stopped short of officially recognizing neighboring Israel.
Israel has expressed its willingness to work militarily with its new Gulf partners, which have been publicly more reluctant to such a prospect.
Reporting by Dubai Newsroom, editing by William Maclean and Bernadette Baum
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