BEIRUT: Iran’s ambassador to Lebanon said Monday that Tehran was seeking to boost ties with Lebanon and its Gulf rival Saudi Arabia.
“I discussed with Siniora ways to boost relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and its neighbors, particularly Persian Gulf countries, at the top of the list the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Ghazanfar Roknabadi said following talks with former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.
“We stressed Iran’s interest in enhancing these relations and Iran’s [position] to stand by Lebanon and all Lebanese as well as the need to strengthen cooperation more and more, especially during this period,” he said outside Siniora’s Beirut office.
Roknabadi said he “explained in detail” the latest developments regarding the Iranian nuclear program and a meeting in Geneva next week aimed at reaching an accord over the issue.
The “Iranian-American rapprochement and the latest developments in this regard” were also brought up during the gathering, which according to Roknabadi was part of his regular meetings with Lebanese officials and politicians.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif suggested that a ministerial meeting with the P5+1 countries could be necessary following talks in Geneva.
The Geneva talks are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday between Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi and his counterparts from the P5+1 group, which includes the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany.
Roknabadi gave Siniora a “thank you” message and Eid al-Adha greetings from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the state-run National News Agency said.