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Maldives Is Latest Saudi Ally To Sever Ties With Iran

The Maldives, an Indian Ocean archipelago, became the latest ally of Saudi Arabia to sever diplomatic ties with Iran.

The Maldives became the latest ally of Saudi Arabia to sever diplomatic ties with Iran, claiming that Tehran's policies have been "detrimental" to peace and security in the Middle East.

The Foreign Ministry of the the Indian Ocean archipelago said on May 18 that its own peace and security is linked to the broader Middle East, so it views Iran as a threat.

Saudi Arabia in January cut ties with Iran over the storming of the Saudi Embassy in Tehran, triggering similar actions by a string of allied states.

Since 2013, Saudi Arabia has played an increasing role in the Maldives, which like the kingdom has a predominantly Sunni Muslim population. Saudi Arabia established an embassy there last year and has offered cash grants to the government.

The Maldives established diplomatic relations with Shi'ite Muslim Iran in 1975.

The Maldives' main opposition party appeared to disagree with the move to sever relations with Tehran.

An opposition spokesman called it "irrational adventurism" by the administration of President Abdulla Yameen, which he said appears bent on "amassing all the world's contentious issues to the Indian Ocean, with Maldives at the heart of it."

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP