Also, it is expected that the visit of Iranian Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif to Iraq, today, Sunday, April 25, 2021, will be devoted to discussing some matters related to the Iranian-Saudi negotiations with the Iraqi side.
Since the beginning of 2021, second negotiations have started between Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to discuss ways to revive relations, and to discuss some of the pending security issues between the two countries.A high-ranking Iranian intelligence official, familiar with the Iranian and Saudi negotiations in Iraq, revealed that since the beginning of 2021, Emirati officials have communicated with the Iraqi Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kazemi, to discuss the possibility of establishing negotiations with the Iranian side on Iraqi soil.
The Iranian intelligence official said, “The first meeting took place in January 2021, and included an Iranian security delegation headed by the commander of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guard, General Ismail Qaani, and Iraqi security officials, in addition to a delegation from the Emirati intelligence headed by the Emirati National Security Adviser Tahnoun bin Zayed.”
The same source added that “this meeting discussed the possibility of participation in negotiations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran,” the Iranian and Emirati sides.
For his part, an Iraqi security official familiar with this meeting said, “The commander of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guard, General Ismail Qaani, agreed to hold Iranian-Saudi talks, and Tehran informed Al-Kazimi of the approval.”
An Iraqi politician close to the Iraqi Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kazemi, said, “Al-Kazemi has always sought to bring Tehran and Riyadh closer, taking advantage of his close relations with Iran and Saudi Arabia.”
According to the information disclosed by the Iraqi politician, “Al-Kazemi telephoned the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and informed him of the Iranian agreement to meet with the Saudi delegation in Baghdad.”
The spokesman added, “In February 2021, the Iranian and Saudi delegations met for the first time in the capital, Baghdad, in a place surrounded by extreme secrecy. This meeting was not attended by Qaani, but was attended by a number of Revolutionary Guard officers, along with Iranian intelligence officials, a delegation from the Foreign Ministry, and delegates. From the Supreme Council for Iranian National Security. ”
For his part, an official at the Iranian Supreme National Security Council revealed that “the Houthi file was at the top of Saudi demands. The head of Saudi intelligence, Khaled Humaidan, confirmed to the Iranian delegation that Riyadh is more open to dialogue with Tehran than ever before.”
On April 9, 2021, the Iranian and Saudi delegations met for the second time in Baghdad, and this time the meetings included the opening of the Lebanese and Yemeni files.
An Iraqi politician close to Al-Kazemi revealed, “Before Al-Kazemi’s visit to Riyadh, an Iranian security delegation visited Baghdad in secret, and informed Al-Kazemi to deliver a message to the Saudi side, the most prominent of which was the political and economic crisis in Lebanon, and the role of Saudi Arabia in this crisis.”
According to information obtained by Arab Post from Iraqi officials, a meeting that preceded the April 9 meeting included a security delegation from Jordan and Egypt.
An Iranian intelligence official who was among the Iranian delegation participating in the April 9, 2021 meeting with the Saudi side, said, “Riyadh demanded Iran’s intervention to stop the Houthi attacks on Saudi oil facilities.”
The meeting also discussed the importance of Saudi influence in Lebanon, and their role in resolving the economic crisis and the political stalemate in Beirut.
According to the same source, “the Iranian delegation asked its Saudi counterpart to intervene with the Lebanese political actors close to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to resolve the political crisis in Lebanon and form a new government, provided Hezbollah agrees to the new government, without further rejection and obstacles.”
According to Iraqi security officials familiar with this meeting, “the Saudi delegation welcomed the Iranian request, but on the other hand stressed the need to stop Houthi attacks on the Kingdom, whether from Yemen or Iraqi lands.”
The Iranian nuclear agreement had its share of the negotiations between Iran and Saudi Arabia in Iraq, as an Iraqi security official revealed that “the Iranian delegation has informed Riyadh that Washington will not object to the nuclear negotiations now underway in Vienna, in return for further calm between the two countries.”
According to the same source, “the Saudi delegation emphasized that the priority now is to resolve the security crises that cause instability in the region,” stressing that “the Iranian-Saudi talks are not linked to the Vienna negotiations and did not come at the request of the United States.”
The file of the security of navigation in the Gulf waters was also an important topic that was raised on the Iranian-Saudi negotiating table, as the importance of the security of the Gulf waters was discussed with the Saudi side, and Israel was not allowed to threaten the security of navigation in the Gulf.
An Iranian security source revealed that “the Iranian side expressed its concerns about the possibility of normalization between Israel and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but the Saudis showed reassuring signs.”
The Iranian security source did not disclose the nature of what he described as “reassuring gestures,” but only described the discussions as “they were overwhelmingly positive with regard to this problem.”
It is expected that a meeting will take place between the Iranian and Saudi delegations, in Baghdad, at the end of April 2021, and the beginning of May 2021.
An Iraqi political official close to Al-Kazemi revealed that “Riyadh is keen to complete the negotiations and reach a positive agreement with Iran, unlike previous negotiations, as Riyadh this time shows great openness to negotiations with Tehran.”
The spokesman indicated Tehran’s desire to reach positive results from these negotiations, in conjunction with the nuclear negotiations in Vienna, saying that “it is in Tehran’s interest to resolve its differences with Saudi Arabia, although Iran supports the Houthis, but it also needs to end its differences with the Gulf states.”