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Saudi Arabia on dealing with Raisi in Iran and Bennett in Israel

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan expressed his hopes that the new Israeli government led by Naftali Bennett would take a more positive approach towards the peace process.

He made clear that the kingdom’s dealings with the new Iranian government led by the president of the national team, Ibrahim Raisi, will depend on the situation.

The statements of the Saudi foreign minister during a conference with his Austrian counterpart Alexander Schallenberg in Vienna came in response to a question about the first official Saudi reaction on Bennett and Raisi’s taking power in Israel and Iran.

“We have no contacts with Israel, so changing governments there has no direct impact on us,” Prince Faisal bin Farhan said about Bennett. “We hope that the new Israeli government will take a more positive approach towards the peace process because we strongly believe that this is the source of instability. Pushing the peace process forward will help the region achieve stability and security.”

“From our perspective, the Supreme Leader (Ali Khamenei) runs Iran’s foreign policy. Therefore, we base our interactions with Iran on the reality of the situation, and this is how we will judge the new government, regardless of who is in power,” Prince Faisal said about Raisi.

In his first press conference, the Iranian elected president said that his government’s foreign policy priorities would include improving relations with neighbouring Gulf countries and seeking to reopen embassies with Saudi Arabia.

Raisi discusses his government’s aims and positions on nuclear negotiations and Saudi Arabian relations.

“We would like to have connections with all nations throughout the world, especially with our neighbours and with Saudi Arabia,” Raisi said, adding that Iran “sees no obstacle in reopening the two embassies in the two cities.

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