Ambassador: Iran welcomes Baghdad mediation in talks with Saudi Arabia
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Iranian ambassador to Iraq announced on Tuesday that his country supports Baghdad’s mediation in meetings reportedly held recently in the Iraqi capital aimed at bringing Tehran "closer to countries with which we have faced challenges or with which ties have cooled."
A senior Iranian official and additional sources told Reuters "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."
Iraj Masjedi, Iran's Ambassador to Iraq, stopped short of confirming that such meetings have taken place, but appeared to acknowledge them in an interview with Iranian state news.
"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," he said.
He went on to voice his government's support for Iraq "in developing its own relations with the Arab world," and said it "welcomes, supports, and encourages any move aimed at developing relations of cooperation and rapprochement between Iraq and the Arab countries and neighboring countries."
For decades, Saudi Arabia and Iran have competed for influence across the Middle East. In 2016, they severed diplomatic ties completely.
Editing by John J. Catherine