Tehran, June 24 (TNS): Amid tense ties, Iran on Saturday condemned a suicide bombing near Islam’s holiest site in Makkah and offered Saudi Arabia its assistance in tackling terrorism, Iranian state media quoting official reported.
“Iran… as always expresses its readiness to assist and cooperate with other countries to confront these criminals, who deal death and ignorantly spread hate,” foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi said.
Six foreign pilgrims were wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up near the Grand Mosque in Makkah, where hundreds of thousands of worshippers had gathered for prayers on the last Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramazan. The Saudi interior ministry said a wider plot had been foiled with the arrest of five suspects earlier in the day.
Since late 2014, the kingdom has faced periodic bombings and shootings claimed by the Islamic State militant group. Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia are locked in a bitter battle for regional influence and have had no diplomatic relations since January last year.
Relations between arch rivals in the region now were at their lowest level as both Riyadh and Tehran blame each other for supporting proxies involved in terrorism across the Middle East.