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SUNDAY, 20 APR 2014
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Riyadh’s Iran policy preventing thaw in ties: Hezbollah
An image grab taken from Hezbollah's al-Manar TV on December 3, 2013 shows Hassan Nasrallah, chief of Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah movement, giving an interview to local television station OTV at an undisclosed location in Lebanon. AFP PHOTO/AL-MANAR
An image grab taken from Hezbollah's al-Manar TV on December 3, 2013 shows Hassan Nasrallah, chief of Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah movement, giving an interview to local television station OTV at an undisclosed location in Lebanon. AFP PHOTO/AL-MANAR
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BEIRUT: Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said Tuesday Saudi Arabia was maintaining a hostile policy toward Iran, preventing the normalization of ties between the two regional heavyweights.

“Iran’s administration has been trying to open doors with Saudi Arabia for years now but all these attempts failed because Saudi Arabia closed these doors,” he said in an interview on OTV.

“Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said on several occasions that he is willing to visit Saudi Arabia ... but Saudi Arabia has not yet issued any positive response,” he said, referring to the recent visit by Zarif to Arab states following the historic deal over Tehran’s nuclear program.

Nasrallah said Riyadh had ever since the Islamic Revolution in 1979 maintained a hostile policy toward Iran, including fighting proxy wars in different countries.

He also dismissed that differences between Riyadh and Tehran were sectarian.

“Saudi Arabia wants all countries and governments in the Arab and Muslim worlds to be under its command which is why I don’t see the dispute between [Iran and Saudi Arabia] as sectarian but merely political,” Nasrallah said.

During the interview, Nasrallah confirmed reports he had recently received a delegation from Qatar in Beirut but did elaborate on the reasons behind the meeting.

Nasrallah said his party had maintained a channel of communication with Doha despite differences between the two over the crisis in neighboring Syria.

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