(AFP) – Sep 15, 2007
TEHRAN (AFP) — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned Saudi King Abdullah that the "enemies of Islam" were trying to divide the Muslim community, his website said on Saturday.
The Ahmadinejad-Abdullah telephone call came amid complaints from Iran, which is majority Shiite, that Iranian pilgrims visiting Islam's holiest sites in the mainly Sunni kingdom were being harassed.
"The enemies of Islam are trying to spread disunity among Muslim nations, especially between the two governments of Iran and Saudi Arabia," Ahmadinejad said, according to his website.
Earlier this month Tehran asked Riyadh to fight against Sunni extremists who Iran said were targeting Iranian pilgrims in Mecca and Medina in anti-Shiite sermons.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran has been fully assured about the action of Saudi Arabia, especially the king, for consolidating unity among the Muslims," Ahmadinejad said.
Iran and Saudi Arabia over the past few years have tried to improve relations, which have been strained ever since the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s when the Gulf monarchies backed Baghdad.
Ahmadinejad also told the king that Iran was "ready to provide its experience in the field of nuclear technology, under the IAEA," to Saudi Arabia, referring to the UN watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Iran is under UN sanctions for failing to suspend its controversial nuclear programme.
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