Moscow condemned the attacks against the Saudi Arabia embassy in Iran and one-upped the United States by saying it is fully willing to provide full mediation services between the two countries.
Moscow added that violation of diplomatic norms can never constitute a legal means of protest.
While the U.S. Department of State has sat on the sidelines and urged “diplomatic engagement and direct conversations,” Russia has offered to step in and mediate the dispute between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which resulted from the latter’s execution of a prominent Shiite cleric, The Daily Star reports.
U.S. inaction has infuriated the Saudis. One Saudi source told The Washington Post, “Enough is enough. Tehran has thumbed its nose at the West again and again, continuing to sponsor terrorism and launch ballistic missiles and no one is doing anything about it.”
“Every time the Iranians do something, the United States backs off,” the source added. “The Saudis are actually doing something.”
After Saudi Arabia executed Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, protests outside the Saudi Arabia embassy in Tehran exploded. Iranian security broke down and protesters managed to set fire to the building. Saudi Arabia has given Iranian diplomats 48 hours to clear out of the country. Iran, in turn, has vowed Saudi Arabia will face divine revenge for executing al-Nimr.
Saudi Arabia isn’t the only country to cut ties with Iran. Following the execution, Bahrain and Sudan also snubbed Iran, and the United Arab Emirates has downgraded diplomatic ties with the country.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that it hopes the two can calm the situation down without further escalation by pursuing “the path of dialogue,” adding that “Russia is ready to support such efforts.”
In a prior statement to AFP, the Foreign Ministry said, “Russia is ready to serve as an intermediary between Riyadh and Tehran.”
The TASS Russian News Agency also noted that Moscow is willing to host talks between Adel al-Jubeir and Mohammad Javad Zarif, the foreign ministers from Saudi Arabia and Iran, respectively.
“If partners in Riyadh and Tehran are interested in our role, we are ready to give mediator services to restore mutual understanding on all issues,” an unnamed Russian diplomatic source told TASS.
Russia said it is interested in “mutual understanding between Shiites and Sunnis.” The U.S. has long-supported the Sunni regime in Saudi Arabia, much to the chagrin of Iran.
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