Iran ‘ready’ to sit down with Arab neighbors: Rouhani

By Middle East Affairs

Iran’s president said Wednesday he would be open to discussing regional security issues with Gulf Arab neighbors, AFP reports.

President Hassan Rouhani listed one condition, though: Western powers must stay out of it.

“We don’t need foreigners to guarantee the security of our region,” he said in a televised speech.

“We are, have been and always will be good neighbors.”

Rouhani was addressing Gulf Arab countries, including Iran’s regional rival Saudi Arabia.

The two countries broke from their diplomatic relationship at the beginning of 2016 and oppose each other in the Syrian and Yemen wars.

Western powers and their Gulf Arab allies have criticized Iran for “destabilizing influence in the Middle East,” according to AFP.

The United States and European allies condemned Iran on Tuesday for violating the arms embargo on Yemen and supplying missiles and drones to the Huthi rebels.

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