• Sunday, May 09, 2021
  • Last Update : 11:52 pm

Saudi, Iran held talks aimed at easing tensions

  • Published at 07:17 pm April 18th, 2021
Iran flag
File photo of The Iranian flag flutters in front the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna, Austria July 10, 2019. Reuters

The meeting focused on Yemen, where a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia has been battling the Iran-aligned Houthi group since March 2015

Saudi and Iranian officials held direct talks this month in a bid to ease tensions between the two foes, a senior Iranian official and two regional sources said, as Washington works to revive a 2015 nuclear pact with Tehran and end the Yemen war.

The April 9 meeting in Iraq, first reported by the Financial Times on Sunday, did not lead to any breakthrough, the Iranian official and one of the regional sources familiar with the matter said.

The regional source said the meeting focused on Yemen, where a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia has been battling the Iran-aligned Houthi group since March 2015.

"This was a low-level meeting to explore whether there might be a way to ease ongoing tensions in the region," the Iranian official said, adding that it was based on Iraq's request.

Iraq's prime minister held talks with Saudi Arabia's crown prince earlier this month and also visited the United Arab Emirates.

The second regional source said the talks also touched on Lebanon, which is facing a political vacuum amid a dire financial crisis. Gulf Arab states are alarmed by the expanding role of Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah movement.

Saudi authorities did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. The FT report said that a senior Saudi official denied there had been any talks with Iran.

Sunni Gulf power Saudi Arabia cut ties with Shi'ite Iran in January 2016 following the storming of its embassy in Tehran in a row over Riyadh's execution of a Shi'ite Muslim cleric.

A Western diplomat in the region said the United States and Britain were informed in advance of the Saudi-Iran talks but had "not seen the outcome."

Washington and Tehran are holding indirect talks in Vienna to revive the world powers' nuclear accord with Iran, which former US President Donald Trump quit in 2018. Tehran has breached several nuclear restrictions after Trump reimposed sanctions.

Riyadh last week called for a nuclear deal with stronger parameters and for involvement of Gulf states, which are concerned about Iran's missiles program and its support for regional proxies.

The United States is also pressing for a ceasefire deal in Yemen which Riyadh and the Saudi-backed Yemeni government have welcomed. The Houthis have yet to accept and have kept up cross border missile and drone attacks on Saudi cities.

A Saudi foreign ministry official told Reuters last week that confidence-building measures could pave the way for expanded nuclear talks with Gulf Arab participation.

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail