Iran calls on Saudi Arabia to pull out forces from Bahrain

10:11, July 08, 2011      

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Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast on Thursday called on Saudi Arabia to pull out its forces from Bahrain, the local Mehr news agency reported.

"We have asked Saudi Arabia to amend its interfering policies in Bahrain and pull out its forces from this country," Mehmanparast was quoted as saying.

The principle policy of the Islamic Republic is to improve relations with neighboring and regional countries and to move in the direction of collective work in the region, he told reporters in the southern city of Shiraz.

If such a collective work and convergence in the region is materialized, it can be helpful for the regional people and for the stability and security in the region, he added.

On Wednesday, the senior Iranian lawmaker Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh said that Tehran would hold talks with Saudi Arabia only after Saudi forces' withdrawal from Bahrain.

Also, head of National security and Foreign Policy Commission of Iran's Parliament Alaeddin Boroujerdi said Wednesday that withdrawal of Saudi forces from Bahrain will pave the ground for the talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia over Bahrain.

Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal said Tuesday his country was ready for dialogue with Iran if the Iranians have a genuine desire for it.

In March, the Gulf troops, most from Saudi Arabia, arrived in Bahrain and officials said these troops would help Bahrain maintain order and protect strategic facilities after it is swept by demonstrations and protests, the worst crisis that shakes the tiny Gulf country.

Bahrain, home to the U.S. navy's 5th Fleet, is ruled by the Sunni Muslim al-Khalifa family where the majority Shi'ite population say they are facing discrimination in jobs and other services. The kingdom denies such claims.

Source: Xinhua
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