Despite a “lack of substantive progress” in past rounds, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister stated at the Munich Security Conference that the Kingdom is attempting to organize a fifth session of direct talks with Iran.
Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran in 2016 when demonstrators stormed its embassy in Tehran following Riyadh’s killing of a Shia religious leader. Last year, Iraq held negotiations between the two regional powers.
In order to meet regional concerns, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud stated on Saturday that reviving the 2015 nuclear deal should be “a starting point, not an endpoint.” Saudi Arabia has criticized the agreement for failing to address Iran’s missile development.
“That will indeed require from our neighbours in Iran a serious desire to address the underlying issues that exist … We hope that there is a serious desire to find a new modus operandi,” he said.
“If we see substantive progress on those files, then yes, rapprochement is possible. So far, we have not seen that,” he told the Munich Security Conference.
Saudi Arabia and Iran are involved in a number of proxy wars around the Middle East, especially in Yemen. Since 2015, Riyadh has led an Arab coalition against the Iran-aligned Houthi movement in Yemen.