(IranMania) - Regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia have intensified efforts to broker a solution to Lebanon's crippling political crisis.
The Islamic republic's envoy in Beirut also said that Tehran was mediating in a bid to bring Saudi Arabia and Syria closer over the issue, reports Trend.
Iran, the main foreign backer of Lebanon's Hezbollah-led opposition, held a series of contacts on Wednesday with Saudi Arabia, a key financier of the beleaguered Western-backed Beirut government, state television said.
The secretary general of the Saudi National Security Council, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, held Tehran talks with his Iranian counterpart Ali Larijani on "the critical situation in Lebanon," it said.
The two men, whose talks came the day after three people were killed in Lebanon in clashes between government and opposition supporters, "emphasised the necessity of finding a solution agreed by all Lebanese groups."
The talks were held ahead of a donors' conference for Lebanon which opened in Paris on Thursday.
Asked by reporters in Paris about the talks, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said:"There is no initiative really that we can call a Saudi initiative. There was a message received by the king" from Tehran.
"The message was an offer to cooperate to achieve solidarity between Muslims. The return message was that if this is the intention, then it is action that speaks louder than words, and if Iran can do anything to quietly support this in the region, then this would be the best service that could be done."
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki earlier spoke by telephone with Faisal to examine "ways to find an acceptable solution," Iranian state television added.
It was Larijani's second meeting with Saudi officials in 10 days. On January 14, he travelled to Riyadh to meet King Abdullah and Prince Saud.
After those talks, Larijani told Beirut newspapers that Iran was keen to work with Saudi Arabia to resolve the the crisis which has crippled Lebanon's public administration since Hezbollah and its allies quit the cabinet in November.
"There is a problem inside Lebanon that we, along with the Saudis, wish to help to resolve," he said.
Both the Lebanese government and the opposition have expressed a readiness to accept the two governments' mediation.
Prime Minister Fuad Siniora called on Wednesday for improved relations with Iran, but said the ties must be between governments and not "through third parties", an allusion to Hezbollah.
The Shiite movement's leader Hassan Nasrallah said the opposition was open to foreign mediation, particularly by Iran and Saudi Arabia, but added: "Any connivance between two countries or two governments, even ones we respect, cannot be imposed on Lebanon."
In Beirut, Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Shibani said Tehran was also trying to bridge differences between Saudi Arabia and Syria in efforts to resolve Lebanon's political crisis.
"Iran is carrying out consultations with Saudi Arabia and Syria on the situation in the region and in Lebanon," Shibani said after meeting officials at the Lebanese foreign ministry.
"My government is trying to bring viewpoints between Saudi Arabia and Syria closer," he said.