Saudi, Iran hold talks to ease tensions: Report


Last updated on April 19, 2021 at 12.32 am

Saudi and Iranian officials held direct talks this month in a bid to ease tensions between the two countries, a senior Iranian official and two regional sources said, as Washington works to revive a 2015 nuclear pact with Tehran and end the Yemen war.

The April 9 meeting in Iraq, first reported by the Financial Times on Sunday, did not lead to any breakthrough, sources familiar with the matter said.

They said the meeting focused on Yemen, where a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia has been battling the Houthi group since March 2015.

“This was a low-level meeting to explore whether there might be a way to ease ongoing tensions in the region,” the Iranian official said, adding that it was based on Iraq’s request.

Another source said the talks also touched on Lebanon, which is facing a political vacuum amid a dire financial crisis.

Saudi authorities did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.