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October 20, 2021 11:51 am

Saudi Foreign Minister, US Special Envoy to Iran Discuss Nuclear Talks

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud speaks during a joint news conference with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 3, 2021. REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud and US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley met in Riyadh on Wednesday to discuss the Iranian nuclear talks, the state news agency SPA said.

Prince Faisal and Malley, who earlier visited Qatar on a regional tour to coordinate with Gulf allies, also discussed strengthening “joint action to stop Iranian support for terrorist militias” threatening regional security, SPA added.

Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raisi has not yet agreed to resume indirect talks with the United States on both sides returning to compliance with the deal, under which Iran curbed its nuclear program in return for economic sanctions relief.

Malley has said Washington is ready to consider “all options” if Iran is unwilling to return to the 2015 deal, while Prince Faisal last week warned of the “dangerous” acceleration of Iran’s nuclear activities.

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Riyadh, which has been locked in several proxy wars with Iran in the region including in Yemen, had criticized the 2015 pact as flawed for not addressing Tehran’s missile program and network of regional proxies, a key concern for some Gulf states.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration wants to negotiate a return to compliance with the deal after his predecessor, Donald Trump, withdrew from the agreement in 2018 and re-imposed sanctions, after which Iran resumed building its stockpile of enriched uranium.

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