Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
4th January, 2016
Russia is ready to mediate in the conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran. This was reported by RIA Novosti who quoted a senior source in the Russian foreign Ministry.
According to him, Moscow "is connected by really good relations with Tehran and Riyadh". "As friends we would be ready to play, if needed, a mediation role in resolving existing and newly emerged contradictions between the two countries," he said.
The interlocutor of Agency states that during the settlement of the Syrian crisis, the parties were able to create the so-called Vienna group, with the participation of Saudi Arabia, and Iran. "We hope that this mechanism will continue its active work in the interests of finding a political settlement in Syria," he said.
According to him, the proposals of this nature have been heard in a long time. "We offered on the Russian territory to hold such meetings on the initiative of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia," the diplomat added.
On January 3rd, Saudi Arabia announced the severance of diplomatic relations with Iran. The Iranian Embassy and the related agencies were ordered to leave the country within 48 hours.
The decision was taken following the escalation of the conflict between the two countries, after the Saudi authorities executed Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, who spoke for the rights of religious minorities in the East of the Kingdom. Along with him, 46 people were also executed and found guilty of promoting terrorist activities.
In response, a number of Iranian leaders made harsh statements in the address of Riyadh. In turn, the Saudi foreign Ministry summoned the Iranian Ambassador and made their protest clear. On the night of 3rd January, the protesters attacked the Saudi Embassy in Tehran and a Consulate in Mashhad. After that Saudi diplomats were evacuated from Iran.