publish date 2021-09-23 16:06:10
A spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry revealed that the talks initiated by the regional rivals Tehran and Riyadh months ago had made “serious progress” on Gulf security, according to what the official news agency IRNA reported Thursday.
Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said that the two sides had “good” talks on the bilateral relations severed between them for more than five years.
He continued, “Progress on the security of the Persian Gulf has been very serious,” without providing additional details.
Saudi and Iranian officials have held rounds of talks during the past months in Baghdad, which were first revealed last April, in what is considered the most prominent direct communication between them since Riyadh cut ties with Tehran in January 2016.
Iran and Saudi Arabia are the two most prominent regional powers in the Gulf, and they are on opposite sides in most regional files, most notably the conflict in Yemen, where Riyadh leads a military coalition in support of the internationally recognized government, and accuses Tehran of supporting the Houthi rebels who control large areas in the north of the country, most notably Sanaa.
Likewise, Saudi Arabia, an ally of the United States, the archenemy of the Islamic Republic, expresses its concern about Iran’s regional influence and accuses it of “interfering” in Arab countries such as Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, and is concerned about its nuclear program and missile capabilities.
Khatibzadeh’s statements came from New York, where he is with the Iranian delegation participating in the United Nations General Assembly meetings.
In his address to the General Assembly on Wednesday, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz expressed his hope that talks with Iran would lead to “tangible results.”
In his speech delivered via video conference, King Salman said, “Iran is a neighboring country, and we hope that our initial talks with it will lead to tangible results to build confidence and pave the way for achieving the aspirations of our peoples in establishing cooperative relations based on adherence to the principles and resolutions of international legitimacy, respect for sovereignty, and non-interference in Internal Affairs.
He called on Tehran to “stop all forms of support” for armed groups close to them in the region, and the importance of “making the Middle East free of all weapons of mass destruction.”
Khatibzadeh reiterated his country’s position that the affairs of the region and the relations between its countries should take place within a regional framework without international interference.
He said, “If the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia pays serious attention to the message of the Islamic Republic of Iran that the solution to problems in the region lies within the region itself…then we can have a stable and good relationship between the two important countries in the region, namely Iran and Saudi Arabia.”
Khatibzadeh confirmed that the “communication” between the two countries, which began during the era of former Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, continued after his successor, Ibrahim Raisi, assumed his duties last August, without specifying whether the two sides had held direct talks since then.
#Iran #progress #Gulf #security #talks #Saudi #Arabia
Source : ألدستور