Saudi Arabia says talks with Iran have not made sufficient progress to restore full diplomatic relations, but it is “serious about” ongoing bilateral talks.

In an interview with the Financial Times, foreign minister Price Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud told the daily that talks with Tehran have been “cordial” and “exploratory”.

Iran has highlighted the negotiations that began in April in a much more positive light. Officials and state-controlled media have often reported major progress and optimism. Saudis seem to believe that Tehran is highlighting the talks to tell the West that they can improve ties with their neighbors without Western pressure.

The United States and its European and Middle Eastern allies have been demanding that Iran change its regional policies and stop supporting militant groups and interference in Arab countries. Ebrahim Raisi (Raeesi), the new Iranian president has reiterated that the priority of his administration is improving ties with neighbors.

AFP quoted an unnamed diplomat earlier this week that the two countries are close to reopening consulates, after mobs attacked and burned Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran in January 2016, which led to severance of relations.

A Saudi diplomat told the Financial Times that his country was considering allowing Iran to reopen its consulate in Jeddah, but the talks have not progressed far enough to reestablish full relations.

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