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Talks between Saudi Arabia, Iran Enter ‘Serious’ Phase

Talks between Saudi Arabia, Iran Enter ‘Serious’ Phase

Tuesday, 12 October, 2021 - 08:00
An advertisement promotes local products in Tehran. (AFP)

Talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran are now on a “more serious path,” including discussions on resolving Yemen’s conflict.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh confirmed in a weekly press conference that the negotiations between Saudi Arabia and Iran are still going well in Iraq.

“Baghdad has been a good host to date, and there is no need to change the location of the talks as long as possible. The two countries are discussing more serious issues.”

Iran’s Fars news agency quoted Khatibzadeh as saying: “The talks with Saudi Arabia can achieve security and stability in the region.”

“Iran has always pursued its policy and believes that talks between regional actors and Iran and Saudi Arabia can be one of the pillars of peace and stability in the Gulf region,” he added.

He added that the issue of “Yemen has been part of the talks between the two sides.”

The official said that efforts were being made to improve peace and stability in the Persian Gulf through better relations between Tehran and Riyadh.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan had revealed earlier this month that the Kingdom and Iran have held four rounds of “exploratory talks,” the last of which were held on September 21.

On the nuclear file, Khatibzadeh confirmed his government would return to the Vienna negotiations but will not negotiate a new text or nuclear agreement.

“We confirmed that the negotiations will take place in Vienna, and that the Iranian delegation will not negotiate a new text, and that the dialogue will be within the framework of the nuclear agreement.”

Turning to Iraq, Khatibzadeh congratulated its government, people and elected lawmakers on successfully holding parliamentary elections on Sunday, hoping that through unity and solidarity among all MPs, a new government would be formed.

He said Iran, as always, supports Iraq and is ready for cooperation with Baghdad, adding that the country is on the right path towards peace.

Azerbaijan tensions

The spokesman also addressed the relations between Iran and Azerbaijan, saying the two countries have always pursued a logical procedure in their relations.

He noted the region is going through a very sensitive stage, and it is important to understand regional conditions and the situation in the Caspian Sea region.

“Iran has voiced its concerns to the Azeri side, and they have also said they will address them. We told the Azerbaijani side that some of Iran’s concerns should be resolved.”

Moreover, he stressed that the alleged Israeli presence in Azerbaijan created tensions between Baku and Tehran.

“We have never closed our airspace to Azerbaijan. The land route is also open between the two countries, and the two sides should not allow third-parties to affect relations,” Khatibzadeh underlined.

Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) had said it had started using the airspace of neighboring Armenia on Wednesday after media reports claimed that Iran closed off its airspace to military flights.

Relations between Tehran and Baku have deteriorated recently, against the backdrop of maneuvers carried out by the Iranian army near the border with Azerbaijan and Baku’s decision to impose customs duties on Iranian trucks heading to Europe through its territory.

AFP had reported that Azeri authorities closed a mosque linked to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Azerbaijan’s Interior Ministry said the reason for the closure, which also affected other indoor spaces, was a surge in coronavirus infections.

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