September 30, 2019 / 10:39 AM / 16 days ago

Saudi Arabia has sent messages to Iran's president - Iran government

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a news conference on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, U.S., September 26, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

GENEVA (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia has sent messages to Iran’s president through the leaders of other countries, an Iranian government spokesman said on Monday, at a time of heightened tensions between the regional rivals.

“Messages from the Saudis were presented to (Iran’s President) Hassan Rouhani from the leaders of some countries,” spokesman Ali Rabiei said, according to the semi-official ILNA news agency. “If Saudi Arabia is really pursuing a change of behaviour, Iran welcomes that,” he added

Rabiei did not give any information on what the messages contained.

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince warned in an interview broadcast on Sunday that oil prices could spike to “unimaginably high numbers” if the world doesn’t come together to deter Iran, but said he preferred a political solution to a military one.

Saudi Arabia blames Iran for an attack on two Saudi oil facilities on Sept. 14, a charge Tehran denies.

Separately, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman said that Iran is ready to hold talks with other countries, particularly the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a regional rival.

“We are ready to hold talks with countries, especially the Emirates, in a group or separately and eliminate the misunderstandings,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in a weekly press conference, according to the official ministry website.

Reporting By Babak Dehghanpisheh; Editing by Andrew Hevens, Editing by William Maclean

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