“The reopening of embassies has important implications for reducing regional tensions and increasing global cohesion,” Abadi added in a tweet.
Iran and Saudi Arabia are the two most prominent regional powers in the Gulf, and they are on opposite sides in most regional files, and they entered into direct talks in 2021.
The Saudi political analyst, Mubarak Al-Ati, explained that “Saudi Arabia continues to send signs of moderation towards Iran and that it always wants to hold more substantive talks.”
In an interview with Al-Hurra, he points out that “what has been achieved so far, is the understanding about the return of Iran’s representatives to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. As for the issue of opening embassies of the two countries, it is still not agreed upon, as Riyadh confirms that there are steps that must be achieved before the return of diplomatic relations, The first is the Iranian apology for the attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran and the consulate in Mashhad.
He added that Iran “insists that consultations should be limited to purely bilateral relations such as Hajj and Umrah affairs and bilateral dealings, while Riyadh stresses that Tehran must abandon its destabilizing actions in countries, stop interfering in Arab countries, and lift its hand from Yemen specifically and then discussed rest of the issues.
Al-Ati believes that the Iranians “exchange roles in issuing contradictory statements to form a kind of political pressure on Saudi Arabia. However, Riyadh has become in the strongest political position against Iran, which is most in need of talks that contribute to supporting its position in the Vienna negotiations.”
He stated that “the Iranian position has so far been characterized by procrastination and playing with the sword of time to achieve media gain in front of the international community and the Iranian street, which confirms that it is not serious about bilateral consultations between the two countries, as the two sides have completed four rounds of negotiations, and a fifth round is awaited.”
Al-Ati reiterated that “Riyadh would like to advance talks to discuss core issues related to the Iranian government’s behavior in the region, but Tehran always returns to propose regional talks in which Turkey and Egypt participate, as part of its efforts to establish its influence in the region, and so that Saudi Arabia does not appear as a negotiator for countries. Arabia”.
The two countries have different views on many regional issues, most notably the conflict in Yemen, where Riyadh leads a military coalition in support of the internationally recognized government, and Tehran supports the Houthis, who control large areas in the north of the country, including the capital, Sanaa.
Saudi and Iranian officials held several rounds of talks in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, which were first revealed in April 2021.
The director of the Arab Center for Iranian Studies, Muhammad Sadiqian, had said in previous statements to Al-Hurra website that “the talks between Tehran and Riyadh actually reached positive results.”
He pointed out that “what we are hearing about the possibility of opening an Iranian consulate in Jeddah and Saudi Arabia in Mashhad confirms beyond any doubt that there is progress in the talks.”
But the Iranian analyst said earlier that “the talks did not rise to the level of restoring relations and opening embassies in both countries.”
Last month, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh announced that bilateral talks with Saudi Arabia had not witnessed any developments in the recent period.
Nearly half a year after the announcement of the first round of talks to ease the atmosphere between the two arch-rivals, Saudi Arabia and Iran, the two sides still have a long way to go in order to ensure the return of relations to its previous era, according to observers.
The spokesman said in statements reported by Reuters that communication with Saudi Arabia depends on Riyadh’s “seriousness”, adding, “We call on it to take political and diplomatic solutions and avoid interfering in the affairs of other countries, because we believe that comprehensive regional arrangements will be achieved through mutual respect and understanding of facts by the countries of the region.” “.
Saudi Arabia, which cut ties with Iran in 2016, described the ongoing talks with Tehran as “exploratory”, and an Iranian official said last October they had come a “good distance”.
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