Iran calls for a permanent mechanism to resolve Gulf crisis, accuses Saudi Arabia of backing militants in Tehran

Norway: Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tuesday called for a permanent mechanism in the Gulf to resolve crises like the blockade against Qatar by Saudi Arabia and its allies.

Speaking at a news conference on the sidelines of an annual peace mediation in Oslo, Zarif also said Saudi Arabia supported militants inside Iran.

File image of Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif. Reuters

File image of Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif. Reuters

"It is absolutely imperative for our region not to only to resolve this particular conflict or dispute between our southern neighbours in the Persian Gulf through dialogue but in fact establish a permanent mechanism for consultation, conversation and conflict resolution in our region," Zarif said.

He said this could be along the lines of the 1975 Helsinki accords – agreements signed during the Cold War to reduce tensions between western and Communist nations.

"I think if it worked at the height of the Cold War in Europe, it should work," Zarif said.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain broke off relations with Qatar on 5 June, accusing the small but oil-rich emirate of supporting "terrorism" and being too close to Iran, which is Riyadh's regional rival.

Tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia have escalated as Iran's Revolutionary Guards blamed the deadly 7 June Tehran attack on Saudi Arabia.

The Islamic State group (IS) claimed responsibility for the twin attacks that killed 17 people and wounded dozens.

"We have intelligence that Saudi Arabia is actively engaged in promoting terrorist groups operating on the eastern side of Iran in Balochistan," Zarif said.

He said the militants were "using the territory of one of our neighbours against its will to launch attacks against Iran which only two months ago led to the murder of nine Iranian border guards."

The 29 April attack by Sunni militants took place on the frontier with Pakistan.

"On the Western side the same type of activity is being undertaken, again by using the diplomatic hospitality of other neighbours," Zarif said.

Updated Date: Jun 13, 2017 20:38 PM

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