TEHRAN (Dispatches) -- Iraqi Interior Minister Qasim al-Araji says the Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman has called on Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to help ease tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Speaking after a meeting with his Iranian counterpart here Sunday, al-Araji referred to his recent visit to Saudi Arabia and his meeting with bin Salman, and said, "He officially asked for Iraq’s mediation between Iran and Saudi Arabia to ease tensions.”
"Saudi King Salman had earlier made the same request, but I told them you should show the best behavior towards Iranian pilgrims and allow them to visit Jannat al-Baqi cemetery,” he noted, according to a Farsi report by ISNA.
"The Saudi side has made certain promises in this regard, and the door to the cemetery is already open to Iranian pilgrims,” al-Araji said, adding that Tehran-Riyadh friendly relations will help ensure regional security.
Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, for his part, highlighted the importance of respecting and maintaining the dignity of Iranian Hajj pilgrims, saying Tehran has always sought cordial relations with Saudi Arabia.
"Iran’s policy is to have effective cooperation with regional states, and Tehran has never been the first to sever its relations with others,” he added.
He also expressed hope that regional countries would join hands and seek to resolve the problems of Muslims while enjoying their people’s support and avoiding the real enemies of Islam.
Earlier this year, Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said he had been carrying out certain mediatory measures in order to help the improvement of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
He said on January 14 any crisis in the relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia affected Iraq as well and a rapprochement between the two countries would also benefit Iraq.
Relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia worsened after a deadly human crush occurred during Hajj rituals in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca, in September 2015.
Days into the incident, Saudi Arabia published a death toll of 770, but refused to update it despite gradually surging fatality
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