Source of the photo: Wikipedia.org
On August 30th, 2021, in an interview on state television, Iran’s new foreign minister, Hossein Amir-ABDOLLAHIAN said that he had spoken with his Saudi counterpart, Faisal bin Farhan Al SAOUD, at the regional summit held in Baghdad on Saturday.
“The Saudi counterpart said that we are waiting for the establishment of the new government in Iran and that we will resume our communications” Amir-ABDOLLAHIAN said.
Iran and Saudi Arabia began secret talks organized by Iraq in April, but the talks were temporarily halted pending the formation of President Ebrahim RAISI’s government.
The new president Ebrahim RAISI has stressed an intention to improve relations with the Arab states in the Persian Gulf and some analysts regard this as reflected in his appointing Amir-ABDOLLAHIAN, who held responsibility for Arab affairs as deputy foreign minister (2011-2016) and was ambassador to Bahrain from 2007 to 2010.
RAISI’s cabinet gained a sweeping vote of confidence from Iran’s parliament days before last week’s Baghdad summit, which marked Amir-ABDOLLAHIAN’s first trip as foreign minister.
On August 30, 2021, Iraj MASJEDI, the Iranian ambassador to Baghdad, also confirmed that a fourth round of talks with Saudi officials will be held soon.
“Iran has expressed its readiness for dialogue and peace and has extended its hand of help and assistance toward neighbours and countries in the region” Iraj MASJEDI said.
The main role of the conference, Iraqi foreign minister Fuad Hussein said on August 25 th, was to “to enhance the Iraqi role, support for Iraq, build economic partnerships with countries in the region, and transform the space of conflicts and tensions in the region into a state of dialogue”.
The event, was also a significant indicator of regional efforts to de-escalate tensions, marked the first time in more than five years that senior officials from Iran and Saudi Arabia attended the same event.
Saudi Arabia and Iran cut diplomatic relations in 2016 after the kingdom’s embassy in Tehran was stormed by a mob aftr the killing of a renowned Shia cleric in Saudi Arabia.
Tensions escalated after Saudi Arabia said it would support former US President TRUMP’s “maximum pressure” campaign of harsh sanctions against Iran after his unilateral withdrawal from the country’s 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA) with world powers.
In 2019, US and Saudi officials said Iran was responsible for a missile and drone attack on the kingdom’s main oil facilities, which temporarily knocked out half of its crude oil output.
This story contains reporting from Al-Jazeera, Algulf.net, Iranintl.com, and Worldakkam.com.