Two regional rivals began secret talks in Baghdad in April, and more talks are set to take place in Iraq soon.
Tehran, Iran – Iran and Saudi Arabia appear poised to resume direct talks hosted by Iraq in the near future, Iranian state media reported.
Iran’s new foreign minister, Hossein Amirabdollahian, said in an overnight interview on state television on Monday that he had spoken with his Saudi counterpart, Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, at the regional summit held in Baghdad on Saturday.
“The Saudi counterpart said that we are waiting for the establishment of the new government in Iran and that we will resume our communications,” Amirabdollahian said.
The two regional rivals began secret talks organized by Baghdad in April, but the talks were temporarily halted pending the formation of President Ebrahim Raisi’s government.
Raisi’s cabinet received an overwhelming vote of confidence from the Iranian parliament just days before last week’s top of Baghdad, which marked Amirabdollahian’s first journey as Secretary of State.
Iran’s envoy to Baghdad also confirmed on Monday that a fourth round of talks with Saudi officials will be held shortly.
“Iran has expressed its readiness for dialogue and peace and has extended its hand of aid and assistance to neighbors and countries in the region,” Iraj Masjedi said.
The meeting, aimed at rallying support for Iraq, was also a key indicator of regional efforts to de-escalate tensions. It was the first time in more than five years that senior officials from Iran and Saudi Arabia attended the same event.
Riyadh and Tehran cut diplomatic ties in early 2016 after the kingdom’s embassy in Tehran was stormed by a mob the murder of a famous Shia cleric in Saudi Arabia.
Tensions escalated after Saudi Arabia said it would back former US President Donald Trump.maximum pressureIran’s campaign of tough sanctions following its unilateral withdrawal from the country’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
In 2019, US and Saudi officials said Iran was responsible for a missile and drone attack on the kingdom’s key oil facilities, temporarily shutting down half of its crude oil output.