Saudi Iran Peacemaking Efforts

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In current development, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that Saudi Arabia wants good relations with Iran. While giving interview to Al Arabiya TV prince told that his country wanted Iran to assist push the Middle East towards affluence. But he, on the other hand, pointed out a few of the areas of apprehension citing Iran’s nuclear program, missile launchers, and support for “outlaw militias”. He said that Saudi Arabia was working with its regional and global partners to find solutions to these problems. According to some diplomatic sources, Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al Kadhimi, who went to Saudi Arabia on an official visit last month, has played the main role in facilitating the talks between the two states, though both countries haven’t confirmed it yet.  The Yemen conflict is at the heart of the talks. Saudi Arabia shares a border with impoverished Yemen where Iran-backed Houthis have gained an upper hand against a Riyadh-backed government.  Another progress that has encouraged Saudi Arabia and Iran to discover ways of easing tensions has to do with the 2015 nuclear agreement or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The JCPOA was signed between Iran and the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, and the European Union. It offered Iran relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear program. But former US President Trump withdrew Washington from the agreement and imposed back-breaking sanctions on Iran.  Now the Biden administration is exploring ways of putting the JCPOA back on track. Last month, the US and Iran held indirect talks in Vienna to see how they can restart the process.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has welcomed Saudi Arabia’s initiative for peace with Iran after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sought good relations with Tehran. Biden administration is on the view of recalibrating the US association with Saudi Arabia following four years of warm times with the Trump administration. Among Biden’s first decisions was ordering an end to US support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. There might be few new happenings to emerge diplomatically.

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