Saudi Arabia And Iran Take Steps Towards Indirect Talks. Is Pakistan mediating?

United States (US) and Saudi Arabia put the blame on Iran for the attacks, despite the Yemen Houthi rebels taking full responsibility for them.

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Iran

To decrease the tensions in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and Iran have taken action towards initiating indirect talks, the kingdom has asked Iraq and Pakistan to talk with the Iranian leadership about the decrease, as per New York Times.

In a report released on Saturday, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) requested Iraq and Pakistan’s leaders to interfere due to attacks made on two of Saudi’s oil facilities on 14th September.

Both, the United States (US) and Saudi Arabia put the blame on Iran for the attacks, despite the Yemen Houthi rebels taking full responsibility for them. The attack cut down 5% of the world’s oil supply. 

However, Donald Trump’s denial of a military response has raised queries amongst the Saudis regarding America’s assurance towards Saudi security. The lack of action from the US has left the kingdom to seek its own solution to the problem.

While talking to the New York Times, the Saudi government said that both Baghdad and Islamabad had offered to start the talks, but they denied that this was on the request of MBS.

“Iran is open to starting a dialogue with Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region,” – said Ali Larijani, the speaker of Iran’s parliament, in an interview with Al Jazeera.

“An Iranian-Saudi dialogue could solve many of the region’s security and political problems,” he continued.

The Times, quoting anonymous Iraqi and Pakistan officials, revealed that MBS asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to start the talks during a meeting in Jeddah last month, on Khan’s two-day visit.

The prince told Imran Khan that he wanted to avoid war, as said by the Pakistani official.

Later on, during the UNGA (United Nations General Assembly), Prime Minister of Pakistan spoke to Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s President, on the sidelines.

Similarly, when Adel Abdul Mahdi, Iraq’s Prime Minister, visited Jeddah on 25th September, MBS made the same request.

The Iraqi official said that Iraq had offered Baghdad as the host for a potential meeting between Iranian and Saudi authorities.

Both Saudi Arabia and Iran have been on opposite sides during the numerous conflicts that took place in the Middle East, including the wars in Syria and Yemen. Riyadh has supported Trump’s ‘maximum pressure’ campaign against Iran. During the campaign, Trump imposed sanctions against Iran, after Washington

Saudi Arabia and Iran have taken opposing sides on various conflicts in the Middle East, including the wars in Yemen and Syria. Riyadh has also backed Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, in abandoned a deal, that restricted Tehran’s nuclear program.

Analysts told New York Times that any kind of settlement between the two will have big consequences, especially on Trump’s on-going efforts to segregate Iran.

Iran’s President, Rouhani rejected a meeting with Trump at UNGA, ruling out any kind of talks between the two until Washington lifted its sanctions.

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