Rouhani calls for end to Saudi ‘interference’ across region
TEHRAN - Iran's President Hassan Rouhani called on Saudi Arabia to stop its "aggression" in Yemen and "interference" across the region, during a news conference in Tehran on Tuesday.
"We don't have a bilateral problem with Saudi Arabia. Our problems concern Saudi Arabia's aggression in Yemen, its interference in Bahrain, its interference in the region," he said.
Rouhani said some 10 countries had offered to mediate between Shiite Iran and Saudi Arabia, which severed diplomatic relations with the Islamic republic last year.
"It was the Saudis themselves who broke relations while we do not wish for that. Since then, several countries have tried to mediate, including Iraq, Kuwait and eight or 10 others," said Rouhani.
Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia broke off relations with Iran after a mob in Tehran stormed its embassy in January 2016 to protest the execution of a prominent Shiite cleric.
Tensions had been building between the two regional rivals, which support opposing sides in Bahrain, Syria and Yemen.
"Saudi Arabia has itself created problems by attacking a neighbouring country, which had no logic and still has none," said Rouhani said.
"It's in the interests of the region and of Saudi Arabia to stop as quickly as possible these attacks on Yemen."
Iran supports the Shiite Huthi rebels in Yemen, while Saudi Arabia backs the internationally recognised government and bombs the Arabian Peninsula country almost daily.
"We hope the problems will be resolved at the root so that peace and stability are installed in the region," said Rouhani.
"Iran does not want to intervene in the interior affairs of Saudi Arabia."