Iran says planning new round of talks with Saudi Arabia

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Iran plans to hold a “forth round of talks” with Saudi Arabia in Iraq after the new Iranian government is set up, the Iranian ambassador in Baghdad said on Tuesday.

“We have had three rounds of negotiations with the Saudi side, and the fourth round is to be held after the formation of a new Iranian government," said Iraj Masjedi, Iran's ambassador to Iraq, according by ISNA.

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Saudi Arabia and Iran began talks in April in an effort to contain tensions between them. Iraq’s president had said Baghdad hosted the talks.

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies have long criticized Iran for its malign activities in the region through its network of proxies in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq. The Gulf countries have also condemned Iran’s nuclear program, which Tehran says is for peaceful purposes.

Saudi ambassador Rayed Krimly, head of policy planning at the Kingdom’s foreign ministry, confirmed Riyadh was in talks with Tehran in comments made to Reuters in May.

He said the talks were aimed at exploring ways to reduce the tensions in the region and that Saudi Arabia wanted to see actions rather than words.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had said in April that Iran is a neighboring country and all Riyadh asked for was that Tehran maintain a good relationship to drive prosperity and growth in the region.

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