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Iran confirms talks with Saudi Arabia, promises best efforts

Published: Updated:

Iran confirmed publicly for the first time on Monday that it is in talks with Saudi Arabia, saying it would do what it could to resolve issues between them.

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“De-escalation of tensions between the two Muslim countries in the [Arabian] Gulf region is in the interest of both nations and the region,” foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a televised weekly news conference.

Iran was waiting for the outcome of the talks, he said: “We welcome resolving of the issues that have existed between the two countries ... We will use our best efforts in this regard.”

Ambassador Rayed Krimly, head of policy planning at Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry, last week told Reuters that talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran were aimed at reducing regional tensions. He said it was too early to judge the outcome and Riyadh wanted to see “verifiable deeds.”

Some sources told Reuters last month that Tehran had promised to use its influence to halt the Iran-backed Houthi militia’s attacks on Saudi Arabia, in return asking Riyadh to support the nuclear talks.

Nuclear talks in Vienna between Tehran and world powers aim to bring Washington and Iran back into full compliance with the nuclear deal. In retaliation for sanctions reimposed since 2018 by Trump, Iran has breached nuclear restrictions under the pact.

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