The New York-based Soufan Center for Security Studies reviewed the fifth round of talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia in a report and announced progress.
The main points raised in this report are:
Saudi Arabia's dialogue with Iran reflects the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's uncertainty about the US role in ensuring security in the Persian Gulf.
Talks between the two sides on relatively manageable issues, including the upcoming Hajj pilgrimage, have progressed.
Saudi officials hope the talks could provide a political solution to the conflict in Yemen.
Iran-Saudi talks could help break deadlock in multilateral talks to revive Iran's 2015 nuclear deal.
The introduction of this report states:
In late April, Iran revealed that it was holding a fifth round of talks with Saudi Arabia in Baghdad, the site of most previous rounds of 2021 meetings. The latest round of talks was held in the presence of "senior officials of the Secretariat of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran and the head of the Saudi intelligence service," Iranian media reported. Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said: "The recent talks have been positive and serious and we are witnessing progress."
According to the report, Iranian media added that the two countries' foreign ministers are expected to meet in the near future, which could potentially be a significant improvement in the level of negotiations. In order to prepare for this high-level meeting, officials from the two countries anticipate meeting in Oman, which has closer ties with Iran than other Gulf states.
According to Soufan, some minor agreements were reportedly reached in Baghdad; For example, Iran will send 40,000 Iranian pilgrims to Mecca in Saudi Arabia later this year for the Hajj.
However, according to the Center for Security Studies, difficult bargaining is ahead for the two countries. The report alleges that Tehran is pushing for the resumption of diplomatic relations, and that Riyadh appears to be seeking significant concessions from Tehran on regional issues and has agreed to allow Iran to open its embassy in Riyadh only for activities related to the organization. Open Islamic cooperation based in Jeddah.
The report goes on to make accusations against Iran:
Saudi officials are seeking concessions on the Yemeni conflict. Since 2015, Saudi Arabia and its key ally in the Persian Gulf, the United Arab Emirates, have been assisting the (resigned) Yemeni government with the Iranian-backed Houthi movement (Ansar al-Yemeni), which in 2014 controlled most of northern and central Yemen. Take out, fight. Iran has assisted the Houthis in providing missile technology that the group frequently uses against Saudi targets. In January, they fired at targets near Abu Dhabi International Airport. Both Gulf states have regretted the US retaliation. However, the United States has provided both countries with advanced missile defense systems, including one that intercepted Houthi missile strikes on the UAE.
The center then added, referring to the talks on lifting sanctions against Iran and its coincidence with the talks in Tehran and Riyadh:
International diplomats hope that talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia will at least lead to an extension of the two-month ceasefire in Yemen that began in early April and may eventually lead to a political solution. Ahead of the April round of talks, Saudi Arabia expressed its potential willingness to end its involvement in the long-running conflict in Yemen.
According to the report, however, it is not clear whether the Saudi-Iranian dialogue significantly reduced their differences.
In the Baghdad talks, Saudi officials reportedly expressed frustration with Iran's role in Yemen, accusing Tehran of failing to facilitate a ceasefire extension. Iran has publicly stated its support for the ceasefire; The Iranian delegation in Baghdad stressed that Saudi Arabia must take practical steps to move towards lasting peace - a formula that means reducing Saudi and UAE support for the (resigned) Yemeni government's ground forces and limiting Saudi and UAE airstrikes there.