Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi arrived in Iran on Sunday, Iranian state TV reported, a day after he traveled to Saudi Arabia in a bid to restore talks between regional rivals to reduce years of hostility.
Iran and Saudi Arabia, the leading Shiite and Sunni Muslim powers in the Middle East, broke ties in 2016, with both parties supporting allies fighting proxy wars in the region, from Yemen to Syria and elsewhere otherwise.
“The Iraqi Prime Minister has arrived in Tehran with a high-level delegation of political and economic officials to discuss regional and bilateral issues,” Iran’s State TV said.
Tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia continued in 2019 following an attack on Saudi oil plants blaming Riyadh on Iran, an accusation that Tehran denies.
An Iranian official told Reuters that “the resumption of talks between Tehran and Riyadh will be discussed during Khadimi’s trip to Iran”.
The fifth round of talks was held in April, after Iran withdrew negotiations in March without giving a reason, but the decision was made. Saudi Arabia’s execution of 81 men in its largest mass execution in decades. Tehran condemned the executions that activists said were 41 Shiite Muslims.
On Saturday, Kadhimi held talks with Saudi de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah that the state news agency SPA said included bilateral relations and “promoting security and stability in the region”.
Kadhimi’s visit comes as a months-long impasse in the indirect talks between Tehran and Washington is expected to break in the coming days to ensure a 2015 nuclear pact that restricts Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions.
US President Joe Biden is expected to visit Riyadh in mid-July and talks are expected to address Gulf security concerns over Iran’s ballistic missile program and network of proxies in the Middle East.
Iraqi Prime Minister visits Iran after visit to Saudi Arabia to resume Tehran-Riyadh talks
Source link Iraqi Prime Minister visits Iran after visit to Saudi Arabia to resume Tehran-Riyadh talks