Saturday, April 20, 2024

Saudi FM says kingdom ‘open to dialog’ with Iran

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud says the kingdom is “open to dialog” with Iran aimed at narrowing down their differences and restoring diplomatic ties.

Speaking to reporters in London, the Saudi minister said, however, that the 2015 deal on Iranian nuclear program was not “ideal” and must address Iran’s neighbors as well.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have so far held five rounds of talks brokered by Iraq.

Last month, Iraq’s Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani said his country is working to organize a new round of negotiations.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein also said earlier that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had urged senior Iraqi authorities to arrange a face-to-face meeting between the top diplomats of Riyadh and Tehran.

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

The kingdom then pursued a confrontational foreign policy toward the Islamic Republic, but the negotiations began in 2021 as Saudi Arabia signaled a change in its Iran policy.

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