Tue. Oct 26th, 2021

Two local rivals began secret talks hosted by Baghdad in April, and more talks are planned in Iraq soon.

Tehran, Iran – Iran and Saudi Arabia appear to be ready to resume direct talks on Iraq in the near future, Iranian state media reported.

Iran’s new foreign minister, Hossein Amirabdollahian, said in a late-night interview on state television on Monday that he had spoken to his Saudi counterpart, Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, during the regional summit hosted by Baghdad on Saturday.

“The Saudi counterpart has said that we are waiting for the new government to be established in Iran, and we will resume our communication,” Amirabdollahian said.

The two local rivals began secret talks in Baghdad in April, but the talks were temporarily halted pending the formation of President Ebrahim Raisi’s administration.

Raisi’s cabinet gained great confidence from Iran’s parliament days before last week The Baghdad Summit, which was Amirabdollahian’s first trip as foreign minister.

Iran’s envoy to Baghdad also confirmed on Monday that a fourth round of talks with Saudi officials would be held soon.

“Iran has expressed its willingness for dialogue and peace and extended its hand of help and assistance to neighbors and countries in the region,” said Iraj Masjedi.

The meeting, which aimed to gather support for Iraq, was also a key indication of regional efforts to ease tensions, and it was the first time in more than five years that senior officials from Iran and Saudi Arabia had the same opportunity attended.

Riyadh and Tehran close diplomatic ties in early 2016 after the kingdom’s embassy in Tehran was stormed by a crowd the murder of a famous Shia clergyman in Saudi Arabia.

Tensions have risen after Saudi Arabia said it would support former US President Donald Trumpmaximum pressureCampaign of severe sanctions against Iran following its unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal with the world powers.

In 2019, U.S. and Saudi officials said Iran was responsible for a rocket and drone strike on the kingdom’s key oil facilities, which temporarily cut off half of its crude oil production.

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