נשיא איראן חסן רוחאני יורש העצר של סעודיה מוחמד בן סלמאן
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
Photo: AP, Reuters
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

Iran confirms Saudi talks, says 'too soon' to discuss results

In first since both nations cut relations in 2016, Islamic Republic says diplomats have been holding 'both bilateral and regional' talks in Iraq, facilitated by Iraqi premier

AFP |
Published: 05.10.21 , 23:00
Iran's foreign ministry Monday for the first time confirmed the Islamic republic is holding talks with regional rival Saudi Arabia, but said it is "too soon" to discuss the results.
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  • Media reports, later confirmed by diplomatic and Iraqi government sources, revealed that Iranian and Saudi officials met in Baghdad in April, their first high-level meeting since Riyadh cut diplomatic ties with Tehran in 2016.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    נשיא איראן חסן רוחאני יורש העצר של סעודיה מוחמד בן סלמאן
    נשיא איראן חסן רוחאני יורש העצר של סעודיה מוחמד בן סלמאן
    Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
    (Photo: AP, Reuters)
    "The purpose of the talks was both bilateral and regional," Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters.
    "But let us wait and see the results of these talks ... it might still be too soon to talk about the details of the negotiations," he added, noting that Iran has "always welcomed such talks at any level and in any shape".
    The neighboring countries cut ties in 2016 after Iranian protestors attacked Saudi diplomatic missions following the kingdom's execution of a revered Shi'ite cleric.
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    Mustafa al-Kahdimi, Iraqi Prime Minister-designate speaks to members of the Iraqi parliament in Baghdad
    Mustafa al-Kahdimi, Iraqi Prime Minister-designate speaks to members of the Iraqi parliament in Baghdad
    Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi
    (Photo: AP)
    The talks in Baghdad, facilitated by Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi, remained secret until the Financial Times reported that a first meeting was held on April 9.
    An Iraqi government official confirmed the talks to AFP, while a Western diplomat said he had been "briefed in advance" about the effort to "broker a better relationship and decrease tensions".
    Iran on April 29 welcomed a "change of tone" from the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman towards it after he called for a "good and special relationship" with Tehran.
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    Houthi rebels in Yemen
    Houthi rebels in Yemen
    Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen
    (Photo: AFP)
    The regional rivals have backed opposite sides of several regional conflicts, from Syria to Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is fighting the Houthi rebels. Iran backs the Houthis, who are battling the Saudi-led military that intervened in Yemen's war in 2015.
    "De-escalation and [establishing] ties between two great Islamic countries in the Persian Gulf region is to the benefit of both nations," Khatibzadeh said Monday.
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