Saudi Arabia's king Salman bin Abdulaziz. FILE PHOTO

Saudi Arabia's king Salman bin Abdulaziz.

Saudi King Expresses Concern Over Iran's 'Lack Of Cooperation'


Saudi Arabia's King Salman has expressed concern about Iran's lack of cooperation with the international community on its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

King Salman bin Abdulaziz said in an address to the kingdom's advisory Shura Council on Wednesday that he hoped Iran would change its "negative" behavior in the region and choose dialogue and cooperation.

"We follow with concern the Iranian government’s policy which is destabilizing regional security and stability, including building and backing sectarian armed militias and propagating its military power in other countries," the 85-old ruler said in a speech published by state news agency SPA.

"(We follow with concern) its lack of cooperation with the international community regarding its nuclear program and its development of ballistic missiles," he added.

Saudi Arabia, a major Western ally in the Gulf, has been locked in a bitter rivalry with Iran across the Middle East where both sides have backed opposing factions in several conflicts including in Yemen, Syria and Lebanon.

The two countries broke diplomatic ties in early 2016 when mobs in Iran attacked and ransacked the Saudi embassy.

In a step to ease tensions, Saudi and Iranian officials met in a series of direct talks earlier this year but they have yet to yield a breakthrough.

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