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Iran, Saudi Arabia hold fifth round of talks in Iraq

Iran, Saudi Arabia hold fifth round of talks in Baghdad
2 min read
Iranian media said that Iran and Saudi Arabia resumed talks in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, following instances of previously suspended talks, amid ongoing tense relations between the regional rivals.
The Iranian Nour News reported that Tehran and Riyadh held talks in Iraq's capital Baghdad, but did not mention when [Getty]

Rival regional powers Iran and Saudi Arabia resumed talks in the Iraqi capital after they were suspended in March, Iran's semi-official Nour News reported on Saturday.

There was no confirmation from Saudi Arabia or Iraq on the resumption of the talks.

"The latest positive meeting has raised hopes for the two countries to take steps toward the resumption of ties,” said Nour News, which is affiliated with the country's Supreme National Security Council. It did not say when the fifth round of talks were held.

Riyadh severed ties with Tehran in 2016 after Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in the Iranian capital following the execution of a Shia cleric in Saudi Arabia.

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Iran suspended the talks in March without giving a reason for the decision that came as a new round of negotiations was due to start. The move came after Saudi Arabia executed 81 men in its biggest mass execution in decades. Tehran condemned the executions that activists said included 41 Shia Muslims.

Predominantly Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran, which are locked in proxy conflicts around the region, started direct talks last year to try to contain tensions.

Saudi Arabia and Iran have backed opposing sides in regional conflicts and political disputes in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq for years, and Saudi Arabia has led an Arab coalition waging war against the Iran-aligned Houthi movement in Yemen since 2015.