Iran-Saudi talks resume in Iraq

PBC News:  Regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia have resumed key talks in the Iraqi capital Baghdad after negotiations were suspended last month, a senior Iraqi official said Saturday.

“Talks resumed last Thursday in Baghdad,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity, and without giving further details.

Iran’s Nour news agency confirmed a meeting attended by “senior officials from the secretariat of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council and the head of the Saudi intelligence service,” AFP reports.

Shiite-majority Iran and the Sunni kingdom of Saudi Arabia support rival sides in several conflict zones across the region, including in Yemen, where the Huthi rebels are backed by Tehran, and Riyadh leads a military coalition supporting the government.

In 2016, Iranian protesters attacked Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran after the kingdom executed revered Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr.

Riyadh responded by cutting ties with Tehran.

The talks in Iraq — which borders both Iran and Saudi Arabia — are the fifth round of meetings in the country in the past year between Tehran and Riyadh aimed at restoring ties.

“It is expected that a joint meeting between the foreign ministers of the two countries will be held in the near future,” Nour said, describing what it called the “positive atmosphere of the recent meeting, which raised the hopes of a resumption of bilateral relations.”

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