Thursday, April 18, 2024

Iranian FM says ready for talks with Saudi counterpart, three locations proposed for negotiations

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian says Tehran has proposed to Saudi Arabia three locations for a meeting at foreign minister level.

He made the comment at a news conference in Tehran on Sunday while citing the latest messages exchanged between Iran and Saudi Arabia since the two countries agreed to restore ties.

He added that Tehran has agreed to the meeting, although he did not list the three locations or say when such a meeting might take place.

Amirabdollahian said Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani represented Tehran in the talks with Riyadh because the Saudis had called for high-level security officials.

He added that Shamkhani’s Thursday visit to Iraq was scheduled four months ago and the armed groups in northern Iraq top the agenda of the negotiations. Amirabdollahian also said Iran hopes steps will be made to normalize its ties with Bahrain.

In other remarks, Amirabdollahian spoke about efforts to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. He said an initiative is on the table and that the administration of President Ebrahim Raisi is hopeful that it will notify the Iranian people of the final outcome in the coming weeks.

The foreign minister noted that the Raisi administration has not counted 100 percent on the revival of the deal, JCPOA, but it will use all opportunities to protect Iran’s national interests.

He added that the current Iranian government has adopted a dual track of either getting the sanctions lifted or neutering the bans.

Amirabdollahian stressed that within the framework of the administration’s economic diplomacy, Iran has witnessed a hike in trade exchanges, referring to a
neighbor with which Tehran has done business worth over $14bn during the last Iranian year.

As for the issue of prisoner swap with the US, the top Iranian diplomat said Tehran considers it as a humanitarian matter and believes that the US should also treat the issue as a humanitarian one.

He further spoke about technical negotiations between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Amirabdollahian said after IAEA Chief Rafael Grossi’s visit to Tehran, the two sides agreed on a roadmap and they are now on the right track for cooperation. He noted that among others, Iran and the agency agreed that the latter’s inspectors be allowed to commute between Iran and Austria until all issues are resolved.

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