Iran-KSA: Foreign Ministers shake Hands, have “friendly exchange” amid tensions

Saudi and Iranian Foreign Ministers shook hands in Istanbul at the OIC meeting over the situation in Jerusalem, at a time rivalry between the two countries spreads over the region.

Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran last year in January after mobs attacked and ransacked its diplomatic missions in Tehran and Mashhad following the execution of top Saudi Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr.

Iran condemned the attacks and 10 people charged with attacking the missions have been handed various prison sentences ranging from six months to three years.

Adel Jubeir and Javad Zarif met with other leaders in the Turkish city to discuss the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)’s position on Israel’s violation of Al Aqsa mosque in occupied Jerusalem.

The two diplomats have had a friendly exchange on the sidelines of the event, Iranian news agency ISNA noted.

Zarif reportedly noted that the move was within “diplomatic conventions” and a sign of “mutual respect and long-standing friendship with Jubeir”.

Saudi Arabia and Iran have been competing for influence in the region, accusing each other of supporting terrorism. The two have waged proxy wars in Yemen and Syria, backing opposed sides.

Tensions between the two rivals have also gripped Qatar, accused by Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt of supporting terrorism and of siding with Teheran.

The quartet requested that Doha curbs ties with Iran as part of 13 conditions it set to renew ties with the tiny gas-rich gulf country.

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