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April 21, 2021

Iran hails Iraqi mediation with Gulf states

Top Story

April 21, 2021

DUBAI: Iran said on Tuesday it welcomes Iraqi mediation to help mend its ties with Gulf Arab states, following reports that Saudi and Iranian officials had held discussions in Iraq.

The remarks by the Iranian ambassador to Baghdad came a day after Iran’s foreign ministry said that Tehran always welcomed dialogue with its arch-rival Saudi Arabia, without confirming that talks had been held. The two countries severed diplomatic ties in 2016 and have been engaged in several proxy wars in the region as they vie for influence, reported a British wire service.

“The Islamic Republic (of Iran) supports Baghdad’s mediation to bring Tehran closer to countries with which we have faced challenges or with which ties have cooled, and Iraqi officials have been notified of this,” Iraj Masjedi, Iran’s ambassador to Iraq, was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA. Asked about any progress in talks, Masjedi said: “We have not yet reached clear results and significant progress. Let us wait for the work to go forward and we can see practical results.”

A senior Iranian official and two regional sources had said that Saudi and Iranian officials held discussions in Iraq in a bid to ease tensions as Washington works to revive a 2015 nuclear pact with Tehran and end the Yemen war.