By Ahmed al-Masri
CAIRO (AA) – The Maldives has severed diplomatic relations with Iran over what it described as Tehran’s “detrimental role” in the Middle East.
"The Government of Maldives has today decided to sever diplomatic relations with Iran,” the Maldives’ foreign ministry said in a Tuesday statement.
“The Maldives believes that the policies that [the] Iranian government pursues in the Middle East, and in particular, in the Arabian (Persian) Gulf region, is detrimental to peace and security in the region, which, in many ways, is also linked to stability, peace and security of the Maldives," the statement added.
The move comes a few months after Riyadh severed diplomatic relations with Tehran following attacks on its Iran-based diplomatic missions following the execution of a Saudi Shia leader.
Sunni-majority Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran are regional foes.
Riyadh accuses Tehran of supporting Yemen’s Shia Houthi group, which overran Sanaa and several provinces in 2014.
Saudi Arabia also supports opposition forces in war-torn Syria, who have been fighting the Russia- and Iran-backed Assad regime.