Last updated: 12 December, 2011

Saudi crown prince meets Iran intelligence minister

Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz met with Iranian Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi on Monday at a time of strained relations between their two Gulf states, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Riyadh has accused Tehran of interfering in neighbouring Arab states and warned that its nuclear programme could pose a threat to regional security.

Tension between the countries escalated further following US accusations of an alleged Iranian plot to kill the Saudi envoy to Washington. Tehran has denied the charge.

Nayef, who is also the Saudi interior minister, discussed “questions of common interest” with the Iranian official, SPA said, without disclosing details.

The Saudi intelligence chief, Mogran bin Abdul Aziz, took part in the meeting, the agency reported.

On December 5, the former Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Turki al-Faisal, said Saudi Arabia may consider acquiring nuclear weapons to match regional rivals Israel and Iran.

In late November, a hardline senior Iranian cleric, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, said Saudi Arabia’s ruling Al-Saud dynasty should give up power, warning that the fate of Egypt’s toppled president Hosni Mubarak awaits Saudi King Abdullah.