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Iranian Official: Iran, Saudi Arabia Need To Overcome Tensions

Iran's deputy foreign minister has said Iran and Saudi Arabia should do whatever is needed to de-escalate tensions between the two countries.

Tensions between the regional rivals rose this month after Riyadh's execution of a Shi'ite Muslim cleric triggered an attack by Iranian protesters on its Tehran embassy, leading the kingdom to cut diplomatic ties.

"We are prepared to consider any initiative which can help this region become more stable and, of course, safer, so we can combat the real challenge and the real threat in the region, which is terrorism, extremism, and, of course, sectarianism, which is a big threat to all of us in the region," Abbas Araqchi told reporters at an aviation conference in Tehran on January 25.

Araqchi added that it was important to fight "extremist terrorist elements" who are a threat to the whole world.

Saudi Arabia, the main Sunni Muslim power, and Iran, the main Shi'ite one, accuse each other of fomenting instability across the Middle East.

Based on reporting by Reuters