Saudi Arabia, Iran Held Talks More Than Once in Baghdad , Iraqi President Says

Baghdad hosted talks between officials from its two neighbors and mutual adversaries on April 9 in the only round of talks to have been previously reported

Reuters
Reuters
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, last month.
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, last month.Credit: BANDAR ALGALOUD/ REUTERS
Reuters
Reuters

Iraq has hosted more than one round of talks between regional foes Iran and Saudi Arabia, Iraqi President Barham Salih said on Wednesday.

Salih made his remarks during an interview broadcast live online with the Beirut Institute think tank. He gave no more details.

Diplomats hope the opening of direct channels between Iran and Saudi Arabia will signal a calming of tensions across the Middle East after years of hostilities that have brought the region close to a full-scale conflict.

Baghdad hosted talks between officials from its two neighbors and mutual adversaries on April 9 in the only round of talks to have been previously reported.

Asked how many rounds of Saudi-Iranian talks Iraq had hosted, Salih replied: "More than once."

Washington and Tehran have engaged in indirect talks in Vienna that seek to revive an international pact reached in 2015 that constrained Iran's nuclear ambitions in return for sanctions relief.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out the deal in 2018 and imposed harsh sanctions on Iran and its regional allies, increasing tension as Iran-backed militias attacked U.S. forces in Iraq and a series of attacks hit oil installations and tankers in the Gulf, where Washington counts Arab states such as Saudi among its close allies.

The killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. air strike in Baghdad in January 2020 brought the region close to war. Iran responded with limited missile strikes against a U.S. base in Iraq, the first such direct attack, but took no further action.

Iraqis hope for a general regional detente that would allow their country to rebuild instead of being used as an arena for U.S., Gulf Arab and Iranian score-settling.

Iraq is trying to rein in powerful Iran-backed militias and deal with a resurgent Islamic State - the Sunni hardline Islamist group that took over a third of Iraq in 2014 and was beaten militarily in 2017 by U.S. forces, the Iraqi military, Kurdish fighters and Iran-aligned paramilitaries.

"The war against ISIS (Islamic State) and terrorism cannot be won by (only) military means," Salih said. "We have succeeded in liberating our land with the help of our friends but terrorism remains."

He added that he wished to see a solution to the Iran-U.S. rivalry that has fuelled violence in Iraq.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

NOW: 40% OFF
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

הקלטות מעוז

Jewish Law Above All: Recordings Reveal Far-right MK's Plan to Turn Israel Into Theocracy

איתמר בן גביר

Why I’m Turning My Back on My Jewish Identity

Travelers looking at the Departures board at Ben Gurion Airport. The number of olim who later become yordim is unknown.

Down and Out: Why These New Immigrants Ended Up Leaving Israel

Beatrice Grannò and Simona Tabasco as Mia and Lucia in "The White Lotus."

The Reality Behind ‘The White Lotus’ Sex Work Fantasy

The Mossad hit team in Dubai. Exposed by dozens of security cameras

This ‘Dystopian’ Cyber Firm Could Have Saved Mossad Assassins From Exposure

מליאת הכנסת 28.12.22

Comeback Kid: How Netanyahu Took Back Power After 18 Months in Exile