Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Iran-Saudi Arabia Hold Direct Security Talks in Jordan

Mon 13 Dec 2021 | 01:52 PM

On Monday, Saudi and Iranian experts took part in a security dialogue in the Jordanian capital Amman which discussed confidence-building measures between the regional rivals, Jordan's state news agency Petra reported on Monday.

A senior Iranian diplomat said that no Iranian official attended the session, which Petra said was hosted by the Arab Institute for Security Studies.

"What was held in Amman was not an official meeting. But of course, such meetings between academics are useful to give a better understanding about realities between the two neighbors," the diplomat said.

Saudi Arabia and Iran, the region’s Sunni Muslim and Shi’ite powerhouses launched direct talks this year at a time global powers are trying to salvage a nuclear pact with Tehran and as U.N.-led efforts to end the Yemen war stall.

There was no immediate comment from Saudi Arabia on the security dialogue in Amman.

The kingdom, which cut ties with Tehran in 2016, has described the talks as cordial but exploratory, while an Iranian official in October said they had gone a “good distance”.

Tensions between the two foes spiked in 2019 after an assault on Saudi oil plants that Riyadh blamed on Iran, a charge Tehran denies, and continue to simmer over Yemen where a Saudi-led coalition is battling the Iran-aligned Houthi group.

“It (Yemen) has proved to be intractable simply because the Houthis continue to receive a continuous supply of weapons and ammunition from their benefactors, particularly Iran,” Mouallimi said, reiterating a charge that both Iran and the group reject.

The conflict is widely seen as a proxy war between Riyadh and Tehran, which are vying for influence across the region.