New Iranian foreign minister: relations with Saudis top priority
Tehran (dpa) -Iran's new acting foreign minister said Saturday that relations with the Islamic world were its priority, with Saudi Arabia topping the list, official news agency IRNA reported.
"In order to achieve a pragmatic and effective foreign policy, we should focus our attention on the Islamic world and our neighbours," Ali-Akbar Salehi said on his first working day.
"Saudi Arabia has a special position which accordingly also needs special political attention as Iran and Saudi Arabia can solve many of the problems of the Islamic world," Salehi added.
Salehi on Monday replaced Manouchehr Mottaki as acting foreign minister while maintaining his position as head of the country's atomic energy organization.
Some observers in Tehran believe that Mottaki's sacking was related to the WikiLeaks disclosures, in particular the documents that claimed Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, two Muslim countries in Iran's neighbourhood, had called on the United States to undertake military action against Iran over its nuclear projects.
While also designating relations with Turkey as important for Iran, Salehi said the two non-regional countries whose ties with Tehran could be of strategic significance would be Russia and China.
Referring to the European Union, Salehi said that ties could be improved, especially with regard to bilateral energy cooperation - if the EU avoided a confrontational course with Iran and became more understanding.
While reiterating that the UN Security Council sanction resolutions against Iran over the nuclear dispute were futile, Salehi said that Iran would be ready to cooperate with world powers.