Saudi Official Confirms Talks With Iran to Reduce Tensions

A Saudi foreign ministry official confirmed his country is in talks with Iran to reduce tensions in the Middle East, bringing weeks of private diplomacy between the two regional powerhouses into the open.

Ambassador Rayed Krimly, head of policy planning at the ministry, told Reuters that Riyadh wanted to see “verifiable deeds” before evaluating the talks.

“We hope they prove successful, but it is too early, and premature, to reach any definitive conclusions,” Krimly told Reuters.

Iraq has been mediating between Iran and Saudi Arabia with a focus on the Yemeni civil war, where the two rivals back opposing sides.

The regional outreach could help ease international concern around Iran’s nuclear program, currently the subject of negotiations in Vienna seeking to revive the 2015 nuclear deal. Former U.S. President Donald Trump’s exit from the deal was followed by attacks on global shipping lanes and Saudi oil installations, many of them blamed on Iran or its regional proxies.

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