Iran President aide met with Saudi FM
An aide to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi met with the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, and they addressed the suspended talks between their two countries.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi's assistant, Muhammad Hosseini, met with Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan on the sidelines of their participation in the inauguration of Lula da Silva as President of Brazil, Iranian news agency Tasnim reported on Monday.
The presidential aid was quoted as stressing the necessity of continuing the talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran that had kicked off through Iraq.
Meanwhile, the Saudi top diplomat said his country was determined to discuss the existing situations and concerns one after the other to reach a fruitful result, one that would positively affect the ties between Tehran and Riyadh.
It is noteworthy that diplomatic ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia grew strained following the execution of Sheikh Nimr Baqir Al-Nimr in January 2016. Sheikh Al-Nimr was a vocal critic of the Saudi government. The Sheikh raised his voice against corruption and political injustice inflicted on marginalized groups that constitute minorities in different regions of the Kingdom, notably Al-Qatif.
The Saudi authorities arrested him in 2011 for participating in protests in the Eastern Province calling for political reform. They executed Al-Nimr along with 46 other people, under the pretext of "fighting terror" just to oppress dissidents and opponents.
On the same day, Iranian protestors demonstrated in front of the Saudi Arabian embassy in Tehran and the consulate in Mashhad, prompting the Kingdom to sever diplomatic ties with Tehran. In response, Tehran severed diplomatic relations with Riyadh.
However, the two ended holding talks in 2022, though the bilateral negotiations are now on hold.
The 6-month negotiations between Iran and Saudi Arabia to restore diplomatic ties have been suspended by the latter, due to the change of government in the mediator-country Iraq.
With the end of Mustafa Kadhimi’s premiership in Iraq, Saudi Arabia has informed Tehran through special channels that the dialogue stopped, as he was the chief mediator of Saudi-Iranian reconciliation talks, and other Iraqi authorities were rarely or not involved at all, the source was cited as saying.
On October 28, Mohammad Shia Al-Sudani replaced Kadhimi as prime minister, and the Iraqi mediation between Tehran and Riyadh, as well as other regional countries, stopped, the source said, adding that it is "not impossible" that Saudi-Iranian talks resume.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Fouad Hussein told Sputnik on September 27 that Saudi Arabia and Iran could continue negotiations in Baghdad to normalize broken bilateral ties and resolve differences on the intelligence service level. According to the Minister, the two countries had already agreed on many issues and could start talking at the level of foreign ministers.