Iran always welcomes dialogue with Riyadh: foreign ministry
April 20 2021 01:11 AM

Reuters/ Dubai

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman said yesterday that Tehran always welcomed dialogue with Saudi Arabia, but he did not confirm nor deny direct talks this month between the nations.
A senior Iranian official and two regional sources had told Reuters that Saudi and Iranian officials held discussions in Iraq in a bid to ease tensions as Washington works to revive a 2015 nuclear pact with Tehran and end the Yemen war.
The Financial Times first reported the meeting.
“We have seen media reports about talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia, although the reports sometimes had contradictory quotes,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told a weekly news conference.
“What is important is that the Islamic Republic of Iran has always welcomed dialogue with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and considers it in the interest of the people of the two countries, as well as peace and stability in the region,” he added.
Saudi authorities have not responded to a Reuters request for comment on the talks.
One of the sources said the meeting, arranged by Iraq’s prime minister who visited Saudi Arabia earlier this month, had focused on Yemen, where a military coalition has been battling the Houthi movement.
Saudi Arabia had opposed the international nuclear accord with Iran for not tackling Tehran’s missiles programme and regional behaviour.
It has called for a stronger deal this time around at talks in Vienna aimed at bringing the United States and Iran back into compliance with the pact, which then US President Donald Trump quit in 2018. Tehran breached several nuclear restrictions after Trump reimposed sanctions.

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