Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian gestures after his joint press conference with Lebanese Foreign Minister, in Beirut, October 7, 2021.

Iran Says Talks With Saudi Arabia Have Gone A 'Good Distance'

10/7/2021

Talks to improve relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia have gone a "good distance", Iran's Foreign Minister told a news conference in Beirut on Thursday.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian is visiting Lebanon where he promised help to the economically ravaged country.

Iran and Saudi Arabia, the leading Shi'ite and Sunni Muslim powers in the Middle East, have been rivals for years, backing allies fighting proxy wars in Yemen, Syria and elsewhere. They cut diplomatic ties in 2016. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan confirmed on Sunday that his government had held its first round of direct talks with Iran's new government last month, part of a process begun earlier this year to reduce tensions.

Three rounds of Saudi-Iranian talks were held in Iraq in the months before Iran's new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, took office in August.

Prince Faisal said the latest round had taken place on September 21 but did not say where.

The United States and its European and Middle Eastern allies have called on Iran to change its policy of interference in regional countries as part of ongoing nuclear talks with Tehran.

Science Weekly
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