Iran: Agreement reached with Saudi Arabia to continue dialogue until relations are normalised

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Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian confirmed there is an agreement with Saudi Arabia to continue the dialogue until relations between the two countries are normalised.

In his statements on Friday, during a press conference with Lebanese counterpart Abdullah Bou Habib in Beirut, Abdollahian pointed out that his country welcomes the return of relations with Saudi Arabia, including the re-establishment of mutual diplomatic representation through the ongoing dialogue between the two countries.

He shared that last December, Iran and Saudi Arabia reached an understanding on the sidelines of the Baghdad Summit in Jordan to resume bilateral talks for normalisation between the two countries.

The Iranian minister added: “Tehran did not take the initiative to sever relations with any Islamic country, including Saudi Arabia.”

READ: Iran and Britain history of strained relations

On Wednesday, the head of the National Security and Foreign Relations Committee in the Iranian Parliament Shahriar Heydari confirmed: “The mediation that Iraq is now carrying out between the Saudi and Iranian sides has succeeded in bringing points of view closer and reducing differences between the two parties to levels that allow for the restoration of official relations.”

Last month, Abdollahian held a “friendly conversation” with his Saudi counterpart Faisal Bin Farhan on the sidelines of the Baghdad II summit in Jordan.

Abdollahian indicated at the time that the Saudi foreign minister: “Confirmed his country’s willingness to continue dialogue with Iran.”

Direct talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia began in April 2021, mediated by Iraq, to improve relations. Since then, five rounds of dialogue have taken place between them in Baghdad under the direct auspices of former Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, who had distinguished relations with Riyadh and Tehran.

Since the outbreak of the Iranian Revolution in 1979, Saudi Arabia has viewed Iran as its competitor in the region, and relations between the two countries have been severed since the beginning of 2016.

READ: The Persian Gulf row exposes the nationalistic rift between Iran and its Iraq ‘backyard’

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