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Iran has to act like a ‘normal country’ if it wants to be treated like one, says Saudi foreign minister

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Via CNBC

Adel Al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia’s minister of state for foreign affairs, speaks during a panel session on day three of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020. World leaders, influential executives, bankers and policy makers attend the 50th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos from Jan. 21 – 24.

Jason Alden | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Iran has to change its behavior before Saudi Arabia would be willing to sit down and have a dialogue with them, Saudi’s foreign minister said Thursday.

“The Iranians have to show good faith, the Iranians have to change their behavior and their policies,” Adel al-Jubeir, minister of state for foreign affairs, told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

His comments follow the Iranian foreign minister’s announcement that the country is “open to dialogue with its neighbors.” Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote in Arabic in Twitter that the country is ready to participate in “complementary work that is in the interest of the region.”

Saudi’s al-Jubeir said: “They can’t give missiles to terrorist groups and they can’t attack facilities in other countries and expect the world to deal with them in a rational manner.”

“If they want to be treated as a normal country, they should act as one,” he continued.

He also blamed Iran for the recent tensions in the Middle East.

“They’re the ones who’ve attacked ships, they’re the ones who attacked oil facilities in the kingdom,” al-Jubeir said, referring to 2019 attacks in the Gulf of Oman and Saudi Arabia.

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Iran has denied both involvement both episodes.

Tensions between Washington and Tehran soared in early January after an American airstrike killed Iranian top military commander Qasem Soleimani. Iran retaliated by firing missiles at U.S. targets in Iraq. Both sides now appear to have stepped back from military actions.

“Whatever happened as a consequence, is a consequence of Iran’s aggressive behavior.”

— CNBC’s Natasha Turak, Amanda Macias and Kevin Breuninger contributed to this report.


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