Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh. December 27, 2021

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh.

Iran Says Fifth Round Of Talks With Saudi Arabia 'Positive'

4/25/2022

The foreign ministry in Tehran has confirmed that Iran and Saudi Arabia held a fifth round of "positive" talks in Baghdad last Thursday on normalizing bilateral ties.

"The fifth round of talks between Saudi Arabia and Tehran were held in Iraq and the talks were progressive and positive," foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told a televised weekly news conference.

The resumption of talks come as Iran’s nuclear negotiations with the United States came to a standstill in March, after Tehran demanded the removal of its Revolutionary Guard from the US list of terrorist organizations. The US in return has asked for a wider discussion of Iran’s destabilizing role in the region.

Predominantly Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite Iran, which are locked in proxy conflicts across the Middle East, started direct talks last year to try to contain tensions.

But Iran suspended the talks in March without giving a reason after Saudi Arabia executed 81 men in its biggest mass execution in decades. Tehran condemned the executions that activists said included 41 Shi'ite Muslims.

On Sunday, Iraq's Foreign Minister Fouad Hussein said Baghdad would host a new round of talks.

Khatibzadeh said "initial talks were underway between Tehran and Riyadh on sending 40,000 Iranian pilgrims to the haj in Mecca" this year.

Riyadh severed ties with Tehran in January 2016 after Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in the Tehran following the execution of a Shi'ite cleric in Saudi Arabia.

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