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Iran says ‘good relations’ possible if Saudis change

President Hassan Rouhani says Iran is ready to restore ties with Saudi Arabia if it stops bombing Yemen and cuts its alleged ties with Israel.

world Updated: Dec 10, 2017 14:01 IST
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani presents to the parliament his budget for 2018-2019 on December 10, 2017, in Tehran.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani presents to the parliament his budget for 2018-2019 on December 10, 2017, in Tehran. (AFP Photo)

President Hassan Rouhani says Iran is ready to restore ties with Saudi Arabia if it stops bombing Yemen and cuts its alleged ties with Israel.

In a speech broadcast Sunday, Rouhani said the regional rivals could have “good relations” if the Saudis end their “false friendship” with Israel and halt the “inhuman bombardment” of Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is battling Iranian-allied rebels known as Houthis.

Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran in January 2016 after Iranian demonstrators attacked Saudi diplomatic missions in response to the Saudi execution of a prominent Shiite dissident cleric. Tensions spiked again last month after the Houthis fired a ballistic missile that was intercepted near Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia does not recognize Israel, but the two countries have a shared interest in countering Iran.