Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Analyst: Iran still determined to continue fence-mending talks with Saudis

Iran’s will to patch up differences with rival regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia and restore diplomatic relations after a years-long rupture has not diminished, an Iranian political affairs expert says.

The remarks by Seyyed Reza Sadr al-Hosseini came in an interview with ISNA news agency in reaction to recent statements by Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein that talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia to resume diplomatic ties continue.

Sadr al-Hosseini said both countries have openly expressed willingness to pursue talks to resolve the outstanding political issues and re-open their embassies.

Saudi Arabia cut off diplomatic ties with Iran in January 2016 after Iranian protesters, enraged by the Saudi execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, stormed its embassy in Tehran.

Meanwhile, Iran criticizes the kingdom for pursuing what it calls a confrontational foreign policy toward the Islamic Republic.

Sadr al-Hosseini said the two sides have held five rounds of negotiations at expert levels and have reached significant and positive results, adding the sixth round of negotiations is supposed to be held at foreign ministerial level, as confirmed earlier by the Iraqi foreign minister.

The Iranian analyst stated that the agenda for the next round of talks is “to sign the issue of expanding relations, especially in the political dimension, in the form of an agreement.”

Baghdad has been hosting the talks between Iranian and Saudi negotiators, however the grounds are not ready for the sixth round as Iraq has been hit by unrest following a months-long impasse to form a new government in the country, Sadr al-Hosseini said.

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