Iran Pushes for Dialogue with Gulf Arab States

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attends a joint press conference with his Belarus' counterpart following their meeting in Minsk on February 17, 2015. AFP PHOTO / MAXIM MALINOVSKY (Photo credit should read MAXIM MALINOVSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
MAXIM MALINOVSKY/AFP/Getty

(REUTERS) Iran’s foreign minister on Sunday stepped up efforts to improve ties with Gulf Arab Sunni states urging them to work with their Shi’ite rival to address “anxieties” and violence across the region.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani last week traveled to Oman and Kuwait to try improve ties, his first visit to the Gulf states since taking power in 2013.

The six Arab members of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), especially Saudi Arabia, accuse Iran of using sectarianism to interfere in Arab countries and build its own sphere of influence in the Middle East. Iran denies the accusations.

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