Tehran Ready to Restore Diplomatic Ties With Riyadh

Tehran Ready to Restore Diplomatic Ties With Riyadh
Tehran Ready to Restore Diplomatic Ties With Riyadh

Iran is ready to re-establish formal diplomatic links with Saudi Arabia depending on the kingdom’s attitude, the Iranian top diplomat said. 
“I’m ready to send an ambassador to Saudi Arabia tomorrow, but it depends on them,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said during a question and answer session on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum. 
Tehran and Riyadh cut diplomatic ties in 2016 and have been at odds on a number of regional issues. 
Both sides, however, seem to be taking steps toward rapprochement and have recently held their first direct talks in years in Iraq. 
“There’s no reason that we should not be able to resolve our differences with the Saudis.” Zarif said, according to Bloomberg.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had earlier called for the two nations to overcome differences that have divided the region.
He noted that their joint “interests” could “push the region and the world toward prosperity.”
Iranian officials also welcomed a “dialogue-oriented approach,” saying Iran and Saudi Arabia can enter a new chapter of interaction and cooperation to achieve peace, stability, and regional development by overcoming differences.



Agreement Likely 

Asked about the status of the ongoing nuclear talks, Zarif said the issues are not insurmountable and a result could be achieved before August.
“Negotiations on the JCPOA are underway. An agreement is highly likely to be reached before the end of the incumbent administration’s term,” he was quoted as saying by IRNA.
He used the abbreviation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, formal name of the 2015 nuclear deal that has been unravelling since the United States pulled out of it three years ago and Iran scaled down its commitments in response to the American reimposed sanctions. 
Talks initiated in Vienna, Austria, in April between Iran and the world powers to see if both sides can agree to resume full compliance. 
Six rounds of talks have been held so far, but a final agreement has not been reached yet despite the good progress. 
The administration of President Hassan Rouhani, whose negotiators are currently involved in the Vienna talks, will go out in August to hand the government over to president-elect Ebrahim Raeisi. 
Zarif also called on everyone to support and cooperate with the new elected president, describing Raeisi as a “tactful politician”.
“He will lead Iran very well… Today, it is everybody’s duty to support Raeisi and all affairs definitely have to be arranged with him,” he said.  

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