Tehran welcomes remarks by Saudi crown prince
TEHRAN, June 2 (AFP) - Iran welcomed as "positive" on Wednesday
remarks by Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdel Aziz on relations between
the kingdom and the Islamic Republic.
"The positive remarks by Prince Abdullah regarding relations between
our two countries reflect the prevailing atmosphere of realism and transparency
in our ties," the official IRNA news agency quoted Foreign Minister
Kamal Kharazi as saying.
Kharazi, who described Tehran-Riyadh ties as "brilliant,"
underlined the importance the two Gulf countries can have in establishing
peace and security in the region.
"Considering that Tehran-Riyadh ties are expanding on the basis
of transparency, I am certain that any concerns regarding each other have
been replaced by trust and cooperation," the Iranian official said.
In remarks published Tuesday, Crown Prince Abdullah defended Iran's
right to boost its military power saying "Iran has the right to develop
its military capabilities to ensure its security without harming or damaging
the rights of others."
"All the countries of the world follow the same path. Why should
a question be raised over Iran? Why aren't such questions raised over
Israel's unlimited development of arms?" the crown prince asked in
an interview with the London-based Saudi newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat.
Prince Abdullah also said that last month's historic visit to the Saudi
kingdom by Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, the first by an Iranian
head of state since the 1979 Islamic revolution, had allowed the two states
"to develop their bilateral relations in quantative and qualitative