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Iran resumes fifth round of fence-mending talks with Saudi Arabia: Report

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The Illustrative photo shows the national flags of Iran (L) and Saudi Arabia.

High-ranking representatives of Iran and Saudi Arabia have reportedly resumed the fifth round of talks aimed at mending troubled ties between the two Persian Gulf neighbors.

Iran's Nour News, affiliated with the country's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), reported on Saturday that the fifth round of talks between the Iranian and Saudi representatives was held in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad after the negotiations had been suspended in March.

Nour News hailed as “positive” the latest state of talks between Tehran and Riyadh, stressing that the two sides exchanged views on the main challenges hindering the resumption of relations between the two countries.

“The fifth round of talks between the high-ranking representatives of Iran and Saudi was held in Baghdad,” Nour News said in a Persian-language tweet.

“The positive atmosphere of the recent meeting has raised hopes for the two countries to take a step towards the resumption of relations. It is expected that a joint meeting between the foreign ministers of the two countries will be held in the near future.”

Nour News also reported that the senior officials of Iraq and the Sultanate of Oman had played an important role in shaping joint meetings between the high-ranking representatives of Tehran and Riyadh.

The two Middle East heavyweights have held four rounds of talks in Iraq since last April, including a meeting in December under the administration of President Ebrahim Raeisi, who assumed office in mid-2021.

Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran in January 2016 after Iranian protesters, enraged by the Saudi execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, stormed its embassy in Tehran.

In the years that ensued, the kingdom pursued a confrontational foreign policy toward the Islamic Republic, but it appears that it has recently changed tack.

The two neighbors remain deeply divided over a set of regional issues, mainly the destructive Saudi-led war on Yemen.

Both Tehran and Riyadh have hinted that some progress has been made in their recent rounds of negotiations.

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