Iran: Further talks with S. Arabia rely on Riyadh’s ‘seriousness’

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh speaks during a press conference in Tehran on Feb 22, 2021. (ATTA KENARE / AFP)

DUBAI – Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday that further talks with Saudi Arabia depend on Riyadh's "seriousness".

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 UN-led efforts to end the Yemen war stall.

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"We invite Riyadh [to take] a diplomatic and political approach and respect the principle of non-interference in other countries, which is the only way forward for the region," Khatibzadeh said during a presser.

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".