Speaking at the weekly press brief conference, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh confirmed the secret talks, speculated for a while, with Saudi Arabia. In his statement, Khatibzadeh said, “the de-escalation of tensions between the two Muslim countries in the Persian Gulf region is in the interest of both nations and the region.”
Stating that his country would welcome resolving of the issues between the two countries, the spokesperson said Iran would deploy its best in this sense.
Last week, Ambassador Rayed Krimly, head of policy planning at Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry, gave a statement confirming the talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran. This is the first official statement coming from the relevant parties.
In his statement, Krimly said that the talks aim to reduce tensions between the two countries. However, he added that it is too early to make a prediction regarding the outcome of the talks, and his country first wants to see “verifiable deeds.”
According to some sources familiar with the talks between the two regional rivals, Tehran offered to use its influence over Yemen’s Houthis to stop the latter’s attacks targeting Saudi Arabia in exchange for Saudi support in the nuclear talks ongoing in the Austrian capital Vienna.
It is known that Saudi Arabia supported former President Donald Trump’s decision to unilaterally withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on Iran. Along with other issues, including the war in Yemen, the Saudi attitude regarding the nuclear talks constitutes another obstacle refraining the two countries from mending bilateral ties.