| 21 April 2024, Sunday |

Iran plans new round of talks with Saudi Arabia – Iranian envoy

Iran intends to hold a fourth round of negotiations with regional competitor Saudi Arabia in Iraq after the new Iranian administration is established, according to the Iranian ambassador in Baghdad.

For years, Iran and Saudi Arabia, the Middle East’s dominant Shi’ite and Sunni Muslim nations, have been adversaries, supporting allies fighting proxy wars in Yemen, Syria, and elsewhere. In 2016, they severed diplomatic ties.

Iran confirmed publicly for the first time in May that it was in talks with Saudi Arabia, saying it would do what it could to resolve issues between them. Since then, it has elected a new president, hardliner Ebrahim Raisi, who was sworn in on Aug. 5.

The announcement of plans for new talks, carried by the semi-official news agency ISNA, came days after a regional summit held in Baghdad to help ease tensions among Iraq’s neighbours.

“We have had three rounds of negotiations with the Saudi side, and the fourth round is to be held after the formation of a new Iranian government,” said Iraj Masjedi, Iran’s ambassador to Iraq, according by ISNA.

Iran’s parliament last Wednesday approved all but one of the nominees for a cabinet of hardliners presented by Raisi. 

  • Reuters