The Iranian flag waved in front of the Statehouse of the International Atomic Energy Agency during the beginning of the Governing Board meeting in Vienna, Austria on March 1, 2021.LISSI NANESNER File Photo File Photo
On Thursday, Iran welcomed what it called a change of tone from Saudi Arabia and said it hoped they could work together to secure peace amid efforts to ease tensions between regional rivals.
Saudi Arabia's foreign ministry spokesman made the statement days after the de facto ruler of Iran, Crown Prince Mohammed bin SalmanPrince Mohammed bin Salman, said his country wanted better relations with Tehran.With new ideas and a dialogue-oriented approach, Iran and Saudi Arabia can enter a new chapter of interaction and cooperation to achieve stability and regional development, Iranian media quoted the Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh as saying.
The Sunni Muslim power Iran and Saudi Arabia, the Shi’ite power, has extended diplomatic ties in 2016 and have been engaged in decades of proxy wars across the Middle East, from Iraq to Syria and Yemen as they compete for influence.
But with the administration of US President Joe Biden taking a tougher stance on Saudi Arabia’s human rights record and pushing it into ending the Yemen warYemen war, Prince Mohammed has moved to show he is a valuable partner able to help stabilize the region, diplomats said.
Regional sources say that Saudi and Iranian officials held direct talks in Yemen this month, with discussions focused on Iran and efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.
In comments broadcast late on Tuesday, Prince Mohammed said that Riyadh had still problems with Tehran's negative behavior, mentioning Tehran's nuclear programme, missiles and support for proxy groups around the region
But he added: We are working with our regional and global partners to find solutions to these problems, and we hope to overcome them for good relations that benefit everyone.
On Thursday, after a positive tour, Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a tweet that there were indications of regional signs on horizon.