Middle East

Iran says Saudi talks on 'right track'

Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian is pictured during a meeting with Lebanon's prime minister in Beirut on October 7, 2021. (Photo by ANWAR AMRO / AFP)

BEIRUT: Discussions between Iran and Saudi Arabia are on the right track but it will take more time to restore bilateral ties, Iran's foreign minister said in Beirut Friday.

Iran and Saudi Arabia, on opposing sides in multiple regional conflicts, have been engaged in talks since April with the aim of improving relations, for the first time since cutting ties in 2016.

The discussions were launched under Iran's former moderate president Hassan Rouhani and have continued since his ultraconservative successor, Ebrahim Raisi, took office in August.

"The Iran-Saudi dialogue is on the right track," Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said during a news conference at the Iranian embassy in Beirut, on the second day of a 48-hour visit to Lebanon.

"We have achieved results and agreements, but we still need more dialogue," he added.

"The two parties will announce these agreements at the appropriate time. We welcome the continuation of the talks and the results that benefit both sides and the region," he said.

Abdollahian added: "It was not us who broke off diplomatic relations -- that was a Saudi decision."

The two countries cut ties in 2016 after Iranian protesters attacked Saudi diplomatic missions in the Islamic republic following the kingdom's execution of a revered Shiite cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

Saudi Arabia and Iran are at odds over several regional issues.

In Yemen, Iran supports Shiite rebels who control the capital Sanaa and are battling the government, despite more than six years of Saudi-led military efforts to crush them.

Tehran has also been the main regional backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against Sunni rebels since civil war broke out in 2011.

In Lebanon, Iran-backed Hezbollah plays a pivotal role in political life, while its fighters have been heavily involved in neighbouring Syria in support of Assad's government.

"Saudi Arabia is a significant country in the region. The Islamic Republic of Iran likewise," Abdollahian said in Beirut.

"The role of these two countries in (ensuring the) sustainable security of the region is significant," he added"

 

Recommended





Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)

comments powered by Disqus

Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here