SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi arrived in Iran on Sunday, a day after he traveled to Saudi Arabia in a bid to revive talks between the regional rivals to ease years of hostility, Iran’s state TV reported.
Iran and Saudi Arabia, the leading Shi’ite and Sunni Muslim powers in the Middle East, severed ties in 2016, with both parties backing allies fighting proxy wars across the region, from Yemen to Syria and elsewhere.
“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.
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.
The fifth round of talks was 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 in its biggest mass execution in decades. Tehran condemned the executions that activists said included 41 Shi’ite Muslims, according to Reuters.
On Saturday, Kadhimi held talks with Saudi de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah that the state news agency SPA said included bilateral relations and “boosting security and stability in the region”.