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Iraqi PM in Iran to push for revival of Tehran-Riyadh talks

  • 26 Jun 2022

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al Kadhimi arrives in Iran's capital after a visit to Saudi Arabia to resume talks between the two countries with the aim of "boosting security and stability in the region".

Mustafa al Kadhimi has arrived in Iran with a delegation of officials set to discuss relations between Tehran and Riyadh. ( AP )

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al Kadhimi has arrived in Iran a day after he travelled to Saudi Arabia in a bid to revive talks between the regional rivals to ease years of hostility.

"The Iraqi prime minister has arrived in Tehran with a high-ranking delegation of political and economic officials to discuss regional and bilateral issues," Iran's state TV said on Sunday.

Iran and Saudi Arabia severed ties in 2016, with both parties backing allies fighting proxy wars across the region, from Yemen to Syria and elsewhere.

Tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia rose further in 2019 after an assault on Saudi oil plants that Riyadh blamed on Iran, a charge Tehran denies.

An Iranian official said that "the resumption of talks between Tehran and Riyadh will be discussed during Khadimi's trip to Iran".

A fifth round of talks were held in April, after Iran suspended the negotiations in March without giving a reason but the decision was made following Saudi Arabia's execution of 81 men - its biggest mass execution in decades.

Tehran condemned the executions that activists said included 41 people.

READ MORE: Iraq hosted Saudi-Iranian talks at ‘advanced level’

'Boosting security in the region'

On Saturday, Kadhimi held talks with Saudi de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah.

The Saudi Press Agency said that the talks included bilateral relations and "boosting security and stability in the region".

Kadhimi’s visit comes as a months-long impasse in the indirect talks between Tehran and Washington is expected to break in the coming days to secure the 2015 nuclear pact.

The pact curbed Tehran's nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.

US President Joe Biden is expected to visit Riyadh in mid-July and talks are expected to include Gulf security concerns over Iran's ballistic missiles programme and network of proxies across the Middle East.

READ MORE: Saudi-Iranian diplomacy has begun to intensify. What does it signify?

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