The Iranian government on Monday confirmed the existence of talks with Saudi Arabia to attempt to resolve their disputes and has shown its willingness to reach an agreement to “ease tension”.
“The talks have focused on bilateral and regional issues. We have always been open to these talks in any form and at any level,” said the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman, Said Jatibzadé, as reported by the Iranian news agency Mehr.
He declared that “it is in the interests of both countries and the region to reduce tensions” and advocated “a significant understanding” at the bilateral and regional level “by changing the atmosphere”. “We will do our best in this regard,” he said.
Jatibzadé, on the other hand, has reiterated that “Iran only has a diplomatic presence in Yemen” after the United States seized a boat with weapons for the Houthi rebels. “This information has not been confirmed,” he added.
Jatibzadé’s words came after the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohamed bin Salmán highlighted in late April that Riyadh was seeking “good relations” with Iran, adding that it depends on Tehran ending its “negative influences”, including the nuclear program and its support for groups such as the Houthis in Yemen.
“Our problem is negative influences such as the nuclear program, support for regional units and the ballistic missile program. We are working with our partners to find solutions to these problems,” he said, without confirming the existence of bilateral contacts.
Sources quoted by the Financial Times said in mid-April that senior officials from Saudi Arabia and Iran held direct talks earlier this month to restore diplomatic ties that had been suspended for five years.
Relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the main Sunni and Shiite powers in the region, fell into deep crisis five years ago when the Saudi Interior Ministry announced the execution of 47 people charged with “terrorism and incitement to violence” Well-known Shiite cleric Nimr al Nimr were convicted.
Both countries maintain numerous tensions in their attempts to achieve hegemony in the region, including their support for warring sides in the wars in Yemen and Syria, in addition to Riyadh’s strong opposition to Tehran’s nuclear program and the apparent rapprochement of Saudi Arabia Government of Israel. something that has been sharply criticized by Iran.