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Talks resume between Saudi Arabia and Iran in Baghdad

Regional rivalries Iran and Saudi Arabia began negotiations in Baghdad after they were interrupted in March, according to Iran’s semi-official Nour News.


The resumption of the discussions has not been confirmed by Saudi Arabia or Iraq.


‘The recent positive encounter has boosted optimism that the two countries will take efforts toward normalising relations,’ according to Nour News, which is linked with the country’s Supreme National Security Council. It was not specified when the fifth round of talks will take place.


In 2016, after Iranian demonstrators stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran following the killing of a Shi’ite preacher in Saudi Arabia, Riyadh severed ties with Tehran.


Iran halted talks in March without citing a rationale for the move, which came just before a new round of talks was set to begin. The decision was made after Saudi Arabia murdered 81 men in one of the country’s largest mass executions in decades. Tehran condemned the deaths of 41 Shi’ite Muslims, according to activists.


Saudi Arabia, a predominantly Sunni Muslim country, and Iran, a Shi’ite country, began bilateral discussions last year to try to de-escalate regional tensions.


For years, Saudi Arabia and Iran have backed opposing sides in regional conflicts and political issues such as those in Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq, and since 2015, Saudi Arabia has led an Arab coalition fighting the Iran-aligned Houthi movement in Yemen.


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