Iran plans to hold a fourth round of talks with regional rival Saudi Arabia in Iraq after the new Iranian government is set up, the Iranian ambassador in Baghdad was quoted on Tuesday as saying.
Iran and Saudi Arabia have been rivals for years. They cut diplomatic ties in 2016.
Iran confirmed publicly for the first time in May that it was in talks with Saudi Arabia, saying it would do what it could to resolve issues between them. Since then, it has elected a new president, Sayyed Ebrahim Raisi, who was sworn in on August 5.
The announcement of plans for new talks, carried by the semi-official Iranian news agency ISNA, came days after a regional summit held in Baghdad to help ease tensions among Iraq’s neighbors.
“We have had three rounds of negotiations with the Saudi side, and the fourth round is to be held after the formation of a new Iranian government,” said Iraj Masjedi, Iran’s ambassador to Iraq, according to ISNA.
Separately, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said he had discussed ways of improving ties during a meeting with Vice-President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum of the United Arab Emirates on the sidelines of the Baghdad summit.
“In this conversation, we talked about the positive intentions and will of the two countries’ leaders to strengthen relations… Working with neighbors is the [new Iranian] government’s priority,” Amir Abdollahian said on Twitter.
Tensions rose in Iran’s relations with the UAE after the US-allied Gulf state agreed last year to normalize ties with the Zionist occupation entity.