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Zarif Says Iran Ready To Talk With Saudis If They Stop 'Killing people'

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. File photo

Iran's foreign minister was quoted on Tuesday as signalling his country would be willing to sit down to discuss regional issues with Saudi Arabia, but Riyadh had to stop "killing people".

"In a situation where the Saudis would like to negotiate with Iran, if they pursue regional issues at the negotiating table and not by killing people, they will certainly have the Islamic Republic along with them," Mohammad Javad Zarif said, according to the official IRIB news agency.

Shi'ite Muslim Iran and Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia are arch foes in the Gulf region, backing different sides in the Yemen and Syrian conflicts.

In September, a destructive missile attack hit key oil installations in Saudi Arabia that Riyadh, Washington and London blamed on Iran. Currently, tension remains high in the Persian Gulf with little prospect of any major diplomatic breakthrough.

Iranian officials have blamed the recent protests in Iraq on a U.S. and Saudi conspiracy, to weaken ties between Iran and its neighbor Iraq.

With reporting by Reuters