Sabah Zangeneh told ILNA that with a pause in the Vienna negotiations in revving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, US officials have shifted their attention to other Middle Eastern issues, especially attempts to secure a normalization of ties between Riyadh and Tel Aviv.
Zangeneh, Iran’s former representative to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), said Washington’s attempts to set the stage for talks between Israel and Saudi Arabia have overshadowed Tehran-Riyadh negotiations.
“In fact, the main obstacle to the [resumption] of Iran-Saudi ties are destructive attempts by Israel to prevent that”, an approach that has supporters inside the US, he said.
Earlier, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said he may meet his Saudi counterpart soon in a third country, amid “minimal but good” progress in Iraq-mediated talks between the two sides.
However, an unnamed Saudi Foreign Ministry official later rejected that statement in an interview with Reuters.
Commenting on the development, Zangeneh said the “daily developments in the region are unfolding in a way that Saudi Arabia does not see it harmful if such a meeting takes place at a later time, especially when there is no ceasefire in Yemen.”