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Iraq Offers To 'Mediate' To Resolve Iran-Saudi Tensions

Iraq's foreign minister said his country will mediate to try to resolve the latest diplomatic crisis between Iran and Saudi Arabia, sparked by Riyadh's execution of a prominent Shi'ite cleric.

Ibrahim al-Jaafari was speaking in a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, in Tehran on January 6.

Zarif said Saudi Arabia was fueling tension in the region while Tehran was trying to defuse it.

"Creating tension is not a sign of power, but weakness," Zarif said.

Iranian media reported that Jaafari was making efforts to "advance dialogue and have a diplomatic role in preventing efforts to create discord" so that the region could "pass its current challenge."

Iran strongly condemned the execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr and protesters stormed Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran over the weekend.

That prompted Saudi Arabia to cut diplomatic ties with Iran and the kingdom's allies lined up behind it, either cutting or reducing their relations with Tehran.

Also on January 6, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said the diplomatic row will affect the Syrian peace talks.

He blamed Saudi Arabia for making a "wrong decision" but said "Tehran will stay committed" to planned peace "talks in Vienna and New York."

Predominantly Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite-led Iran are major rivals in the Middle East and support opposing sides in the conflicts in Syria and Yemen.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, AP, and the BBC