Saudi-Iranian Talks Restart in Baghdad
Saudi Arabia and Iran resumed talks in Baghdad, Iraq’s capital, on reconciliation between the two rival regional powers, Iran’s semiofficial Nour News reported on Saturday. Neither Saudi Arabia nor Iraq confirmed the Iranian report. Iran suspended the talks in March after four rounds, without giving a reason for the decision. But the move followed Saudi Arabia’s execution of 81 men, which activists said included 41 Shi’ite Muslims – Riyadh’s largest mass execution in decades.
“The latest positive meeting has raised hopes for the two countries to take steps toward the resumption of ties,” said Nour News. It did not say when the fifth round of talks was held.
Saudi Arabia broke ties with Iran in 2016 after protesters stormed the Saudi Embassy in Tehran following the execution of a Shi’ite cleric, Ayatollah Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia and Iran opened talks last year aimed at reducing tensions and restoring ties between the two rival powers, which back opposite sides in several regional disputes, in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, and elsewhere.