Saudi Arabia Ambassador Abdallah Y. Al-Mouallimi addresses the United Nations General Assembly, Jan. 22, 2015. (AP)

December 13, 2021

Saudi Arabia’s envoy to the United Nations said the kingdom wanted more substantive talks with Iran but that Tehran was so far biding its time and playing “games” in the discussions.

Riyadh and Tehran 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.

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”.

Riyadh’s UN envoy Abdallah Al-Mouallimi told Saudi newspaper Arab News in a video interview published on Monday that no major results had been achieved.

“We would like to push these discussions towards substantive issues that involve the behavior of the Iranian government in the region,” Mouallimi said.

“But as long as the Iranians continue to play games with these talks, they are not going to go anywhere,” he said. “The Iranians take a long-term attitude towards these talks. We are not interested in talks for the sake of talks.”

Tensions between the two foes spiked in 2019 after an assault on Saudi oil plants that Riyadh blamed on Iran, a charge Tehran denies, and continue to simmer over Yemen where a Saudi-led coalition is battling the Iran-aligned Houthi group.

“It (Yemen) has proved to be intractable simply because the Houthis continue to receive a continuous supply of weapons and ammunition from their benefactors, particularly Iran,” Mouallimi said, reiterating a charge that both Iran and the group reject.

Iran International

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.