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Iran and Saudi Relations Hint Improvement

Iraj Masjedi, Iran’s ambassador to Iraq announced that there were plans to hold a round of talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia soon. According to him, they will be the fourth round of talks and will be at Baghdad. The two countries cut off all diplomatic ties in 2016. Saudi Arabia had executed a Shia cleric and in response, the crowds in Iran attacked the Saudi embassy. The relationship between the two countries has been strained since then, and that has caused tension in the region for some time. 

The Baghdad Summit last week aimed at holding discussions to advance strategic peace in the region. Iraq has been playing an active role in mediating peace, stability and development in Middle East. A major takeaway from the Baghdad summit was the interaction between officials from Iran and the Gulf Arab to discuss issues concerning the region. Both Iran and Saudi Arabia were party to the partnership that aims to enhance the cooperation, peace and stability in Middle East.

There are reports of both Iran and Saudi Arabia being ready to mend the bonds after the new administration in Iran. Reuters reported that the Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein stated that there have been three rounds of secret in direct talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia.  He said that there was a visible desire in both the countries to achieve positive results in solving the long withstanding differences between the two countries. Though there is no clarity about the specifics, the Yemen conflict is believed to be one of the issues discussed. Iraq has been actively involved in facilitating the negotiations between the hostile countries. This has not gone unnoticed. French President Emmanuel Macron praised the initiative on part of Iraq and said that the rigour was leading to the path of regional peace and stability.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have had heated exchanges for several years. When the oil installations in Saudi Arabia were attacked, Iran was blamed for the same. Iran has already taken steps to rectify the relations with many countries. As it faces pressure from the western countries, it declared a few days earlier about collaborating with Syria to fight the economic terrorism of the West. Saudi Arabia is a rising economy with benefits from oil as well as technology. That can help Iran in the current situation. Better ties with Saudi Arabia will be beneficial for Iran as well as the entire Middle Eastern region. It will ensure a better understanding of the foreign policy of Iran and will tone down the escalations with open communications.