Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian left Tehran for a three-leg tour of the Gulf Arab states to confer on the latest regional developments, particularly those in Iraq and Syria, according to a report by Fars News Agency
Amir Abdollahian, who left Tehran on Sunday night, plans to visit Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the report added.
Consultations on regional developments, including Iraq and Syria will stand atop Amir Abdollahian’s negotiations with the Kuwaiti, Omani and Emirati officials FNA added.
In a related development FNA also reported that the Iranian Embassy in Riyadh in a statement on Saturday dismissed the reports by some Western and Arab media that Iran has dispatched a delegation to Saudi Arabia to discuss Iraq’s unrests and developments.
The statement said according to FNA “the report released by some Western and Arab newspapers alleging that Iran has sent a delegation to Saudi Arabia to discuss the internal affairs of Iraq is not true”.
“The formation of the government and election of prime minister are internal affairs of Iraq and related to the people of that country as well as its political parties, groups and formations, which will naturally take place on the basis of that country’s constitution and in compliance with the recent parliamentary elections in Iraq,” the statement said according to FNA.
The embassy’s denial comes after reports by Gulf Arab media said based on British reports that Iran is sending officials to Saudi Arabia for secret talks about replacing Iraq’s embattled Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki, with a compromise candidate who might broker a political solution to the deepening crisis there.
“The move towards co-operation by the two regional enemies reflects growing alarm at the situation in Iraq, where lightning gains by the Al Qaeda splinter group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, threaten both countries,” ,the London Times reported .
Saudi Arabia this week deployed 30,000 extra troops along its border with Iraq after Baghdad pulled its forces out of the area, leaving the world’s largest oil producer to defend its frontier alone, according to the reports
“The move by Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani to solicit Saudi backing for a compromise candidate is a remarkable step, given the enmity between the two powers, but reflects the desperation in both capitals, the report added. With Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish government taking steps towards declaring full independence, it falls to Tehran and Riyadh to break the political deadlock in Baghdad, the London Times report added
“Iran has realized that the Iraqi crisis won’t be settled without Saudi backing.” The report added.