Iran Denies Secret Talks with Rival Saudi Arabia
Iranian military personnel man a naval fastboat in the Strait of Hormuz to mark "National Persian Gulf Day." (Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)

Iran Denies Secret Talks with Rival Saudi Arabia

Shi’ite Iran has denied holding secret direct negotiations with rival Sunni Saudi Arabia, after The Wall Street Journal and Washington Post both published articles claiming the two nations were discussing ways to reduce tensions in the Gulf. Over the summer, Tehran was blamed for attacks on numerous shipping vessels transiting vital Middle East waterways, while a September drone and cruise missile attack on critical Saudi oil infrastructure was also attributed to the Islamic Republic. Concurrently, Iran and Saudi Arabia remain on opposite sides of the proxy wars in Syria and Yemen and have long competed against each other for political influence in Iraq and Lebanon. Nevertheless, an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman did confirm that officials from other countries – assumed to be Oman and Pakistan – are acting as intermediaries for the exchange of messages between Tehran and Riyadh. The House of Saud reportedly began pressing for a rapprochement after the strikes on its oil facilities, which temporarily cut the kingdom’s output by half and was viewed as a “game-changer.” Sources say that the US’s failure to respond militarily to the incident caused Saudi leaders to question how much tangible support – as opposed to threats disseminated on Twitter – they would receive from President Donald Trump in the event of a regional war. Meanwhile, mass protests in Iran, in addition to those partially fueled by opposition to the mullahs’ interventionism in Iraq and Lebanon, have further destabilized a regime already struggling to cope with the effects of US economic sanctions.

Give the Gift of Truth This Jewish New Year

The Media Line has been leading for more than twenty years in pioneering the American independent news agency in the Middle East, arguably the first in the region. We have always stayed true to our mission: to provide you with contextual sourced and trustworthy news. In an age of fake news masquerading as journalism, The Media Line plays a crucial role in providing fact-based news that deserves your support.

We're proud of the dozens of young students we've trained in our Press and Policy Student Program who will form the vanguard of the next generation of journalists to the benefit of countless millions of news readers.

Non-profit news needs public support. please help us with your generous contributions.
The Media Line
We thank our loyal readers and wish you all the happiest of holidays.

Invest in the
Trusted Mideast
News source.
We are on the
front lines.

Personalize Your News
Upgrade your experience by choosing the categories that matter most to you.
Click on the icon to add the category to your Personalize news
Browse Categories and Topics
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.