Iranian Ex-President’s Visit to Saudi Arabia is Political – Political Expert
Azerbaijan, Baku, 5 June / Trend corr D. Khatinoglu/ The participation of Iran's former President, Ali Akbar Rafsanjani, in an international conference in Saudi Arabia and his meeting with the country's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud seems to be of a political character. "Invitation to Iran's ex-President to visit Saudi Arabia is not of religious but a political character," Alireza Nourizadeh, Chairman of London-based the Centre for Iranian and Arab Studies, said to Trend .
On 3-4 June, Saudi Arabia's Jeddah city hosted an international Islamic dialogue conference attended by 800 religious figures. Rafsanjani was invited to the event by the Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud. The King and Rafsanjani held negotiations within the conference, but the details of the talks were not divulged.
"Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud had close friendly relations with Rafsanjani even when being the heir. During Rafsanjani's presidency the relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia were broader and closer," Nourizadeh said from London in a telephonic conversation on 4 June.
According to the Iranian expert, after election of Ahmadinejad the relations between Teheran and Riyadh got tensed. "The tensions resulted from Iran's active participation in the violation of stability in Lebanon and Iraq, Iran's nuclear program and other issues," expert said.
Nourizadeh said Rafsanjani is more popular as a political not religious figure. Therefore, official Riyadh tries to negotiate with the official Teheran via that man who has huge power at the Iranian Government.
The Jeddah conference focused on settlement of the conflicts on-going between supporters of different Islamic currents in Iraq and Lebanon.
The Islamic dialogue conferences had been previously held in other countries including Pakistan as well.
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