Iran has 'strong desire' to mend ties with Saudi: MP

BEIRUT (AA) – Iranian lawmaker Alaeddin Boroujerdi said his country had a "strong desire" to strengthen ties with regional rival Saudi Arabia.

"Iran has a definite, firm desire to build good, strong relations with Saudi Arabia," Boroujerdi, who is currently visiting Beirut, said at a joint press conference in Beirut.

Boroujerdi, who heads the Iranian parliament's national security and foreign relations committee, also expressed Iran's keenness to improve ties with Lebanon.

Boroujerdi also met with Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam during his visit to Beirut.

Boroujerdi, who arrived in the Lebanese capital on Thursday, is scheduled to attend a Friday ceremony organized by the Shiite Hezbollah movement to commemorate fighters killed in what Hezbollah and Iran say was an Israeli drone strike in the Syrian town of Quneitra earlier this month.

Six Hezbollah fighters and six Iranians were killed in the Jan. 18 drone strike, which Israel has yet to either confirm or deny.

For over two years, Hezbollah, an ally of Tehran, has been openly engaged in the conflict in Syria, where it continues to fight alongside Syrian regime forces.

In 2006, Israel and Hezbollah fought a 34-day war in which more than 1,200 Lebanese – mostly civilians – were killed by devastating Israeli bombardments of southern Lebanon.

Some 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers, were also killed in the conflict.

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