Three sources confirmed to “Reuters” that direct talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran took place on April 9, when they revealed some details of the meeting, which neither of the parties confirmed.
Reuters quoted a high-ranking Iranian official and regional sources as saying that delegations from Saudi Arabia and Iran held talks in Baghdad on April 9 in an attempt to ease tension between the two rival countries, while the United States is working to revive the agreement on the Iranian nuclear program and end the war in Yemen.
The Iranian official and one of the regional sources said that the talks, previously revealed by the “Financial Times” newspaper, did not lead to any breakthrough.
“This was a low-level meeting that took place in order to determine if there is a way to ease the continuing tension in the region,” the Iranian official said.
The regional source said that the talks touched on the issue of Yemen, where, since March 2015, Saudi Arabia has led the Arab coalition in support of the Yemeni government, which is recognized Yemen in the conflict with the Houthi forces, which are supported by Iran.
For his part, another regional source said that the talks included the issue of Lebanon, which is facing a continuous political vacuum in light of a severe economic crisis coinciding with the increase in the role of “Hezbollah” allied with Iran, which raises the concern of the Arab countries in the Gulf region.
In turn, a Western diplomat in the region said that the United States and Britain were aware of the Saudi-Iranian talks in advance, but “did not see the results.”
The Financial Times previously quoted 3 officials as saying that Baghdad hosted a first round of talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia on April 9, which dealt with attacks by Iran-aligned Houthi forces from Yemen on the Kingdom, adding that the meeting was positive and a new round is expected next week as part of a process. It is supported by the Iraqi Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kazemi.
Informed Iranian sources denied the authenticity of the report in an interview with Al-Mayadeen, saying that “talks between Iranian and Saudi political officials did not take place.”
Source: “Reuters” + agencies