Iran’s FM says talks with Saudis could restore relations

Speaking in Lebanon, Hossein Amirabdollahian says he met Saudi counterpart last month in highest level talks in seven years

BEIRUT — Talks between regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia are continuing and could eventually restore diplomatic relations that were severed years ago, Iran’s foreign minister said Friday.

Hossein Amirabdollahian told reporters in Beirut Friday that he met Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud during a conference in Jordan last month that was attended by Middle Eastern and European officials. The meeting between Amirabdollahian and Prince Faisal was the highest-level encounter between the two countries since they cut relations seven years ago.

Sunni powerhouse Saudi Arabia and Iran, which is majority Shiite, have been at odds since Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, but relations worsened after the 2016 execution of Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr by Riyadh. The incident set off protests in both countries. In Tehran, demonstrators set fire to the Saudi Embassy. Diplomatic relations soured after that.

Read more: The Times of Israel