Iran is ready to engage in a dialogue with the Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to address the issue of escalating tensions with the United States in the Arabian Gulf, authorities said.
The remarks by Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister came on his visit to Qatar where he met foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in Doha.
Qatar’s foreign ministry, in a statement cited by Al Jazeera, said both sides “expressed their concern about escalations and problems in the region.” Tensions have risen between Iran, on one side, along with the US and its Gulf allies, on the other. Washington, earlier this month, deployed a carrier strike group and bombers in the Arabian Gulf and announced plans to deploy additional 1,500 troops to the region, prompting fears of a conflict.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton arrived in the UAE on Tuesday before talks scheduled for Wednesday. “Just landed in the UAE. Looking forward to meeting with our Emirati allies tomorrow to discuss important and timely regional security matters,” Bolton tweeted.
A war of words between Iran and the US escalated after Tehran-backed Houthis of Yemen launched armed drone attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf region this month. Washington blamed the attacks on Iran, which, however, denied the accusations.
Last week, Bolton said that the US had “deep and serious” intelligence on threats posed by Iran, but did not provide details. Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif earlier hit out at the US after Trump said Washington was not looking for regime change in Iran but was only interested in preventing it from obtaining nuclear weapons.