Saudi Arabia and Iran have taken steps towards indirect talks to defuse the tensions in the Middle East, with Riyadh asking Iraq and Pakistan to speak with the Iranian leadership about de-escalation, according to international media reports.
کد خبر: ۹۲۸۲۶۳
تاریخ انتشار: ۱۵ مهر ۱۳۹۸ - ۰۸:۵۴ 07 October 2019

Saudi Arabia and Iran have taken steps towards indirect talks to defuse the tensions in the Middle East, with Riyadh asking Iraq and Pakistan to speak with the Iranian leadership about de-escalation, according to international media reports.

Reports said Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman asked the leaders of Iraq and Pakistan to intervene in the wake of the attacks on two Saudi oil facilities on September 14.

The United States and Saudi Arabia blamed Iran for the attacks, which knocked out five percent of the global crude supply, despite Yemen’s Houthi rebels claiming responsibility for them.

But the reports said that the US President Donald Trump’s refusal to order a military response "raised questions for the Saudis about the American commitment to Saudi security, which has underpinned the strategic layout of the Persian Gulf for decades".

The US’s lack of action "prompted Saudi Arabia to seek its own solution to the conflict." The Saudi government, according to reports, said Baghdad and Islamabad had offered to mediate talks, but denied the move was at MBS’ request. Tehran has meanwhile said it is open to hold talks with Riyadh.

"Iran is open to starting a dialogue with Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region," Ali Larijani, the speaker of Iran’s parliament, said in an interview. “An Iranian-Saudi dialogue could solve many of the region’s security and political problems," he added.

Reports, citing unnamed Iraqi and Pakistani officials, said MBS asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to mediate during a meeting in Jeddah last month. Imran Khan’s two-day visit ran from September 19 to 20.

The crown prince told Imran Khan: "I want to avoid war," the senior Pakistani official was quoted as saying. Afterwards, Imran Khan spoke to Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

When Iraq’s Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi visited Jeddah on September 25, MBS made the same request, a senior Iraqi official was quoted as saying. The official said Iraq had suggested its capital, Baghdad, as the venue for a potential meeting between Saudi and Iranian leaders.

Abdul Mahdi said last week that he believes Saudi Arabia is looking to de-escalate tensions with Iran. "Nobody possesses the weapons necessary to deal their adversary a fatal blow. Chaos and destruction will hit the region in its entirety," he said.

"Everybody is open to dialogue," the Iraqi prime minister said. "Iran says (it is) willing to negotiate if sanctions are lifted; the US (also) asks for dialogue ... neither does Saudi Arabia close the door for dialogue." "There are many countries, and Iraq is one of them, that can offer a solution or a place for a solution to be found," he was quoted as saying.

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