Iran hails latest talks with Saudi Arabia as ‘positive’


Iran said Monday that the latest round of talks with its regional rival Saudi Arabia was “positive and serious” and voiced hope for further progress soon.

Tehran and Riyadh, which severed diplomatic ties in 2016, held four rounds of talks in Iraq between April and September last year, with a fifth meeting last Thursday.

“The fifth round of negotiations between Iran and Saudi Arabia in Baghdad … was positive and serious and saw progress,” foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters.

Shiite Muslim-majority Iran and the Sunni kingdom of Saudi Arabia support rival sides in several conflicts, including in Yemen, where Tehran backs the Houthi rebels and Riyadh leads a military coalition supporting the government.

In 2016, Iranian protesters attacked Saudi diplomatic missions in the Islamic republic after the kingdom executed revered Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr. Riyadh responded by cutting ties with Tehran.

Iran’s Nour news agency reported the latest talks were attended by “senior officials from the secretariat of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council and the head of the Saudi intelligence service”.–AFP


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