Iran’s foreign minister says the next round of talks between Tehran and Riyadh will be held in the Iraqi capital Baghdad in the near future.
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks in a joint press conference with his Iraqi counterpart Fuad Hussein in Tehran Thursday evening.
He expressed gratitude over the efforts by the Iraqi foreign minister and Premier Mustafa al-Kadhimi who helped resolve “misunderstandings” to bring Tehran and Riyadh back to the negotiating table.
He said that Iran offered a set of “practical and constructive proposals” in the last round of talks, noting that he was informed during today’s meeting with his Iraqi counterpart that the Saudi side has a positive view about them.
“Delegates from the two countries will meet in Baghdad in the near future to discuss the implementation of the next phase of the agreement”, he said.
He also voiced Iran’s readiness for the two countries’ technical delegations to visit their respective embassies and make necessary arrangements and preparations for the normalization of ties.
Iran and Saudi Arabia have held several rounds of talks since April aimed at mending the relations. The two countries severed diplomatic ties in 2016.
Amir-Abdollahian also thanked Iraq for providing a private flight that transferred Iran’s envoy with Houthis in Yemen to Tehran for treatment. Hassan Irloo (Irlu or Irlou) died after his return to the country, reportedly from Covid-19 complications.
This is Hussein’s first visit since Ebrahim Raisi (Raeesi) took office. Following his talks with Amir-Abdollahian, he met with the Iranian president.
Answering a question about Iran’s nuclear talks in Vienna that will resume on Monday, Amir-Abdollahian said that “if they want to give one concession and get 10 concessions [in return], the Islamic Republic of Iran will never accept such an approach.”
He also criticized the European participants in the talk, especially France, for their “non-constructive” position.
“In the previous negotiations, the positions taken by some European countries, especially the French, were in general not constructive. We expect the French side to focus on playing a constructive role and help [the progress of] the negotiations”, he said.
He added that the E3 did not present any constructive initiative in the talks but Iran managed to get a verbal approval from all the participants over a draft agreement, which will be discussed next week.
France, the United Kingdom and Germany sharply criticized Iran for failing to take a realistic approach to the talks, when Tehran made new demands during talks in December.
He also appreciated the coordination by European Union's deputy foreign policy chief, Enrique Mora -- who represents the bloc in the Vienna talks, as well as coordinator, and EU foreign policy chief, Joseph Borrell.
“The American side sends some unwritten messages to the meetings and receives the necessary answers in that regard”, he added.
Talks between Iran, three European countries, Russia and China, which have been underway since April in Vienna have so far not resulted in substantial progress.
The United States that left the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2018, participates in the talks indirectly, with the mediation of its European allies.