Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman, Saeed Khatibzadeh has said on Monday that talks with Saudi Arabia “have been cordial and to the same degree serious”.

Khatibazadeh who was speaking to reporters during his weekly briefing, said that so far four rounds of negotiations have been held in Iraq and “talks have taken place in a friendly and positive atmosphere.”

Saudi Arabia and Iran severed diplomatic ties in January 2016 when mobs attacked and ransacked the Saudi embassy in Tehran and its consulate in Mashhad.

Riyadh later supported former US president Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA) and impose tough sanctions on Tehran.

Khatibzadeh did not offer any details to reporters but said that talks should be allowed to proceed at the negotiating table. He denied reports that a Saudi delegation might soon visit Iran.

Iran has so far presented a more optimistic picture of the talks while Saudi Arabia has said they have been “exploratory”.

The United States and its European allies who have been holding talks with Iran over its nuclear program have also raised the issue of Iran’s interventionist policies in the region. Iran might be interested to present its talks with Saudi Arabia as a counterweight to their arguments.

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