Saudi and Iranian officials have been holding direct talks to improve relations between the two enemies five years after they broke up their relationship with ambassadors, according to three officials.
The talks, which took place in Baghdad this month, are thought to be the first talks between the two countries since 2016 and come as Joe Biden wants. reviving the nuclear alliance Iran signed international agreements in 2015 and intensified regional conflicts.
Saudi Arabia seeks to end its war in Yemen against Houthi-linked Houthi militants, who have attacked Saudi cities and oil weapons. The Houthis set off more arrows and drones loaded into the empire this year.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has also taken steps that seem to depend on the favors of Biden officials, who have pledged to re-establish their relationship with the monarchy and end a six-year war in Yemen.
The first round of talks in Saudi Arabia took place in Baghdad on April 9. He also included talks on the Houthi invasion and was optimistic, said one official.
He said the Saudi delegation was led by Khalid bin Ali al-Humaidan, the head of missions, and added that more talks were scheduled for next week.
The project is being supported by Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who held talks with Prince Mohammed in Riyadh last month.
“It’s moving fast because the US is talking [related to the nuclear deal] it is moving fast as well [because of] the Houthi are attacking, ”he said.
Saudi officials have denied that any talks with Iran took place. The governments of Iraq and Iran have not responded.
But a Iraqi official and foreign minister confirmed the talks. The Iraqi leader added that Baghdad had also facilitated “connections” between Iran and Egypt, and Iran and Jordan.
“The prime minister is keen to play a role in helping Iraq become a bridge between the two main opposition groups in the region,” he said.
“It’s Iraq’s interest that it can do this. The more conflicts in the region, the more they play here… And these talks have been going on.”
Relations between Saudi Arabia, which considers itself a Muslim leader, and Iran, the largest power in the Shia region, plummeted in January 2016 following the assassination of embassies in Tehran.
The embassy has been set on fire in Saudi Arabia after the assassination of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a Shia cleric. The protesters, who accused each other of vandalizing the area, later ended their negotiating relationship.
The crisis intensified in 2018, after former President Donald Trump ousted the United States from nuclear weapons in Iran and imposed oppressive sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Prince Mohammed was a strong supporter of Trump’s intense pressure against Tehran. But the threat of Saudi Arabia’s attack was later revealed a shotgun and a drone in September 2019 it temporarily released half of the oil that was not extracted from the kingdom.
Houthis blamed it, but US and Saudi officials criticized Iran.
Washington and Riyadh are accusing Iran of smuggling guns and drones to the Houthis, a war-torn Islamic group that has ruled Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, and northern Yemen since early 2015.
Iraq, home to Iranian-backed militants, also faced regional challenges, especially when Trump ordered the arrest of Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Revolutionary Guard in Iran, in Baghdad in January 2020.
This put the US and the Islamic Republic at the end of the war, with Iraq, with 2,500 U.S. troops, a battlefield where Baghdad clashed between Washington and Tehran.
Iran has established strong security, political and trade ties with its neighbors since the US-led coup defeated Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Negotiations in Saudi-Iran are a sign that the election of Biden, who said he would return to the 2015 nuclear deal and lift more sanctions on Iran if Tehran re-follows the rule, has begun to change regional power.
The signatories to the nuclear signature – Iran, EU, Germany, France, UK, Russia and China – have been negotiating in Vienna to pave the way for US reconciliation.
In January, Riyadh completed more than three years in Qatar, which was established as a result of a merger with Doha in Tehran. The move was seen as part of Prince Mohammed’s loyalty efforts by Biden officials.
Riyadh, who opposed the atomic alliance, said it would not deter nuclear talks. But it wants regional communities to participate in any negotiations on any alliances and insist that Iran’s missions program and regional developments be supported.
“Kadhimi is well connected to the Iranian system. The latest is that Kadhimi is playing against Saudi Arabia,” a senior official said in a statement. “It’s good that Iraq is doing the job, but it’s the very first days.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, last in August, had already said he wanted to defeat his Arab enemies.
Additional reports Najmeh Bozorgmehr