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Officials of Saudi Arabia and Iran met in Baghdad to restore relations

Iran reopens long-shut Saudi embassy, confirming detente

Top ranking officials of Saudi Arabia and Iran met in person 4 years after breaking diplomatic terms to restore relations between two rivals in the region, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

Iran, Saudi Arabia officials’ first round of meeting

The first round of talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran took place in Baghdad on April 9, including discussions about the attack on Saudi Arabia by the Houthi group belonging to Iran in Yemen, according to FT report.

Saudi officials did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment, and Iranian officials did not give immediate comment. The FT said senior Saudi Arabian officials denied negotiations with Iran.

The talks were confirmed by a senior Iraqi official and a foreign diplomat, according to the Financial Times. Baghdad has also facilitated “communication channels” between Iran and Egypt, as well as Iran and Jordan, according to the Iraqi official.

“The prime minister is very keen to personally play a role in turning Iraq into a bridge between these antagonistic powers in the region,” the official said, reports FT.

“It’s in Iraq’s interest that it can play this role. The more confrontation you have in the region, the more they play out here . . . and these talks have been taking place.”

The Iraqi Prime Minister visited Saudi Arabia at the end of last month.

2015 nuclear deal

Financial Times reports that Washington and Tehran are trying to revive the 2015 nuclear deal that Riyadh opposed to, and that the United States is ending the Yemeni conflict, which is considered a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran in the region.

Riyadh has called for a nuclear deal with stronger parameters and said Gulf states should join negotiations on the deal to ensure that this time it addresses Iran’s missiles program and its support for regional proxies.

Saudi Arabia and its allies supported the decision by former President Donald Trump to abandon the nuclear agreement of the world powers and impose sanctions on Iran in 2018. Tehran then responded by breaching several restrictions on its nuclear activities.

Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry official told Reuters last week that confidence-building measures could pave the way for increased negotiations with the participation of Gulf Arab countries.

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Saman Iqbal

Saman is a law student. She enjoys writing about tech, politics and the world in general. She's an avid reader and writes fictional prose in her free time.

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