World / Middle East

Iran says not seeking tension with Saudi Arabia

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-01-04 21:02

TEHRAN -- Iran is not following the policy of creating tension in its ties with Saudi Arabia, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari said here on Monday.

"The Islamic republic does not need tension and conflict in its domestic and international policies, and it is not in the course of creating tension with Saudi Arabia," Jaber Ansari said in his weekly press conference in reaction to the Saudi government's decision to severe diplomatic ties with Iran.

On Sunday, Saudi Arabia announced cutting off diplomatic ties with the Islamic republic following the attacks on its diplomatic missions in Iran on Saturday.

Angry mobs raided and set fire on the Saudi Embassy in Tehran late Saturday and police tried to drive the protesters away after they broke into its compound. Also on Saturday, a group of protesters set ablaze parts of the Saudi Consulate in Iran's northeastern religious city of Mashhad.

Jaber Ansari said the Islamic republic is obliged to respect the international conventions and to protect diplomats and the diplomatic missions, and that in relation to the attacks on Saudi missions in Iran, the Iranian police and the judiciary have done their best to control the situation and deal with the attackers legally.

However, "while everything was under the control and there was no threat against the Saudi diplomats (in Iran), the Saudi government decided to severe ties," he said.

On Sunday, Tehran's Prosecutor General, Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi, said that the police had arrested 40 protestors who raided the Saudi embassy in Tehran on Saturday night, and that the judiciary had issued order to identify and arrest others who raided the embassy.

The Iranian spokesman said the present policies of Saudi Arabia vis-a-vis Iran and its alleged support of extremist groups in the region will further isolate Riyadh.

The violence in Iran against the Saudi diplomatic missions erupted after the Saudi Interior Ministry announced on Saturday that prominent Muslim Shiite leader Nimr al-Nimr and 46 other men were executed on terror charges.

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