One day after the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi traveled to Tehran to mediate between the two regional rivals, Iran’s foreign ministry says Saudi Arabia is ready to hold more direct bilateral talks.
Riyadh is ready to “continue negotiations in Baghdad on a diplomatic level” without commenting on a possible date, Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters during a press conference on Monday.
While the fifth and latest round, which the Iranian side described as “positive”, was held in April 2022, direct talks hosted by Baghdad between Iran and Saudi Arabia began in April 2021.
The two sides have, so far, mostly only reached final agreements on the accommodation of Iranian pilgrims going to Mecca for the annual Hajj pilgrimage in July, according to Khatibzadeh.
He stated, “There are still cases of disagreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia, but they would need to be resolved between the two countries, something that will help the whole of the Islamic world.”
This comes after al-Kadhimi, following a trip to Jeddah a day earlier, where he met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was received by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Tehran on Sunday.
Although he did refer to issues in Yemen and Israel, Raisi did not mention Saudi Arabia during a press conference with al-Kadhimi.