Meeting on re-establishing diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia

Iran and Saudi Arabia have been at loggerheads for some time. Meetings between the two countries have been going on for a year to develop this relationship. This time they are sitting in the fifth round of meeting. The meeting took place in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

Qatar-based Al-Jazeera reports that news of the meeting between the two countries has been confirmed by Nurnews, a news outlet run by Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC).

Several SSS spokespersons represented Iran at the meeting. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief Khalid bin Ali Am Humaidan was present. However, it was not disclosed when the meeting was held.

During the meeting in Baghdad, the representatives of Iran and Saudi Arabia discussed in a positive atmosphere the major obstacles to the restoration of relations between the two countries. The move could pave the way for future meetings between the two countries’ foreign ministers, Nurnews reported.

Diplomatic relations between Tehran and Riyadh have been closed since 2016. However, the two countries have been showing interest in holding talks to reduce bilateral and regional tensions. However, not much progress has been made till April last year.

The meeting between Iran and Saudi Arabia began last April. Since then, five meetings have been held in Baghdad. In addition to Iraq, Oman has played a key role in organizing the latest meeting.

Six years ago, Saudi Arabia executed 61 people in one day, most of them Shia Muslims. Protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran to protest the execution of an influential Shi’ite cleric. Due to that incident, Iran and Saudi Arabia ended their diplomatic relations.

In addition, Iran and Saudi Arabia are at odds over the seven-year-old war in Yemen. The Yemeni government has a Saudi-led military alliance. Iran-backed Houthi fighters are fighting them.