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UN chief urges compromise, realism between Saudis and Iran

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United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon used a stopover in the Middle East to urge Saudi Arabia and Iran to compromise and interact responsibly, seeking to calm a flare-up in tensions between the two regional rivals.

Speaking today during a visit to Oman’s National Defense College, Ban called on the two countries to bring “realism, responsibility and compromise” to their interactions and to the region.

He also expressed hope that last month’s lifting of sanctions on Iran following its landmark nuclear deal with world powers will lead to “increasingly responsible behavior in the region.”

Ban was expected to hold talks with senior Omani officials during his visit.

Long-simmering tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran escalated last month after Saudi authorities executed a prominent Shiite cleric, sparking protests in Iran.

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