In comments on Thursday, Bahram Qassemi quashed rumors that
Foreign Minister Zarif is going to visit Saudi Arabia for a couple of days to
A recent encounter between Zarif and his Saudi counterpart
in Turkey led to rampant speculations among some media outlets that the top
Iranian diplomat would make a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Zarif and Saudi Arabia’s Adel
al-Jubeir shook hands on the sidelines of an extraordinary meeting of the
Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Turkey’s Istanbul.
In comments following the handshake, Zarif played down
controversy over the incident, describing it as a common diplomatic encounter.
"When people run into each other in such international
meetings, they greet each other, especially we who have had a long experience
of contact with each other as foreign ministers,” Zarif added.
The foreign minister also reiterated Iran’s preparedness to
have friendly ties with all neighbors to serve the Islamic world’s interests.
Many experts have described the move as bad news for the
Israeli regime, which has been seeking to aggravate tensions between Tehran and