Iran welcomes the “conciliatory tone” of the Saudi crown prince

On Wednesday, Iran welcomed the “change of tone” of its Saudi rival. This happened after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called for improved relations between the two regional superpowers.

According to the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, the Islamic Republic has always been “a pioneer in regional cooperation” and “welcomes the change of Saudi dialect.” Crown Prince Mohammed, also known by his initials, Mohammed bin Salman, called for a “good and privileged relationship” between predominantly Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia on Tuesday. Shiites and Sunnis are two ideological movements within Islam.

The two countries have been fighting hard for dominance in the Middle East for years. They have proxy wars in countries in the region such as Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, in part to expand their influence in the region. In the Yemeni civil war, both countries support the warring parties.

Saudi Arabia and Iran cut ties in 2016 after Iranian protesters attacked Saudi diplomats. Shortly before that, Saudi Arabia executed an influential Shiite cleric. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on several occasions attacked Tehran, accusing Iran of undermining stability in the region.

Secret talks

According to informed sources, secret talks took place in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. The Iranian Foreign Ministry said, in a statement, that “by taking constructive stances, the two countries can enter a new chapter of cooperation to achieve peace and regional development.”

An Iraqi government official confirmed that talks were ongoing. Riyadh denied it was in talks with Iran. Tehran did not address this question explicitly, only saying that it had been “always open” to dialogue with the Saudis.

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