Iraq on Wednesday offered to mediate between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Relations between the two countries have hit rock-bottom after Sunni-ruling Saudi Arabia executed Shi'ite cleric Nimr al-Nimr. Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Jaafari said if tensions were allowed to escalate between the two countries, the entire region could be affected. Iraq, which has a Shia majority, shares its borders with both Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Iran also warned Saudi Arabia to stop “adding fuel to the fire” and end prolonged efforts to confront Tehran. The deterioration of ties between the two countries could hinder attempts to resolve conflicts in Syria and Yemen, and also affect the implementation of Iran’s nuclear deal. Russia has also offered to help mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Qatar joined a list of Sunni-ruling countries backing Saudi Arabia, and recalled its ambassador from Iran on Wednesday. Saudi Arabia had first asked Iran's diplomats to leave the kingdom after Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi Arabian embassy in Tehran and set it on fire. The United Nations has urged both countries to resolve their differences and reduce tension in the region.