Iran's foreign minister says Saudis moved first in cutting ties

Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on Friday that Saudi Arabian authorities had moved first in cutting ties between the two countries.

Amirabdollahian told a news conference in Beirut that good relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia benefited the whole region.

"Iran-Saudi dialogue is in the right direction and we need more dialogue," he said. "We were not the first to cut ties with Saudi Arabia; the decision was made by Saudi authorities. We consider the dialogue between the two countries constructive."

Iran and Saudi Arabia, the leading Shi'ite and Sunni Muslim powers in the Middle East, have been rivals for years, backing allies fighting proxy wars in Yemen, Syria and elsewhere. They cut diplomatic ties in 2016.

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