Iran reveals breakthrough development in back channel talks with Saudi Arabia
TEHRAN - Iran’s foreign ministry said Monday that the Islamic republic is continuing talks link regional rival Saudi link Arabia in a "good atmosphere link," in the hope of reaching a "common understanding".
Media reports last month revealed that Iranian and Saudi link officials met in Baghdad in April, their first high-level meeting since Riyadh cut diplomatic ties with Tehran in 2016.
"Talks are still continuing in a good atmosphere link," ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said at a press conference. "We hope these talks link can achieve a common understanding between Iran link and Saudi link Arabia," he added.
Ties between the two countries were cut in 2016 after Iranian protestors attacked Saudi link diplomatic missions following the kingdom's execution of a revered Shiite cleric.
The talks link in Baghdad, facilitated by Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi, remained secret until the Financial Times reported that a first meeting was held on April 9.
Khatibzadeh confirmed the talks link on May 10, saying their purpose was "both bilateral and regional", but stressed it was "too soon" to disclose any details.
"De-escalation and (establishing) ties between two great Islamic countries in the Persian Gulf region is to the benefit of both nations," he said at the time.
The regional rivals have backed opposite sides of several regional conflicts, from Syria to Yemen, where a Saudi-led military coalition is fighting the Huthi rebels.
Iran link backs the Huthis, who are battling the coalition that intervened in Yemen's war in support of an internationally recognised government in 2015.