Iran says Saudi Arabia ready to continue reconciliation talks
The Iranian and Saudi foreign ministers reportedly met on the sidelines of a summit in Jordan, marking the highest-level encounter between the two nations since 2016
By News Desk - December 21 2022

(Photo credit: Getty Images)

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian revealed on 20 December that he met with his Saudi counterpart on the sidelines of a regional meeting in the Jordanian capital, marking the highest-level encounter reported between Iranian and Saudi officials since they cut ties in 2016.

“On the sidelines of the meeting I had the opportunity to meet with some of my counterparts, including the foreign ministers of Oman, Qatar, Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. The Saudi minister assured me of his country’s readiness to continue dialogue with Iran,” Amir-Abdollahian said in a tweet posted on Wednesday morning.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud did not reply to a request for comment by Reuters.

Iran and Saudi Arabia are among the countries represented by senior officials at the conference in Jordan, which was organized by France and Iraq with the aim of providing a forum for discussing regional issues.

Earlier this week, during the third session of the Tehran Dialogue Forum, Amir-Abdollahian emphasized Iran’s willingness to “rebuild trust and constructive cooperation” with neighboring states, particularly in the Gulf region. The foreign minister added that Iran’s top priority, policy-wise, was ensuring the security of West Asia.

So far, Iran and Saudi Arabia have held five rounds of negotiations in Baghdad in a bid to return bilateral relations to the previous level and reopen embassies.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani – who has assumed the responsibility of Baghdad’s mediation between Tehran and Riyadh – inquired about a resumption of negotiations during his first official visit to Iran last month.

However, Iranian officials reportedly told Sudani at the time that they would not meet with the Saudis and accused the kingdom of stirring unrest and supporting riots in Iran through a Saudi-funded media campaign.

According to reports by Iranian media, between 14 September and 31 October of this year, the Saudi-funded Iran International news network, UK-funded BBC Persian, US-funded Voice of America, the London-based Manoto TV, and Radio Farda launched at least 38,000 false reports about the Islamic Republic.

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