Iran welcomes Saudi signals for de-escalation

Al-Monitor – Iranian officials say Riyadh has been reaching out to mediators to convey readiness for talks with Tehran. “Some states have delivered messages from Saudi Arabia to President Hassan Rouhani,” Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei told reporters at a media briefing Sept. 30. He noted, however, that Iran’s approach remains unchanged. “We have been urging an end to the war in Yemen and have supported cease-fire as a solution. … We need a clear signal from the Saudis, and that signal comes after they stop killing Yemenis.”

Rabiei did not specify who the mediators were but was taking questions about remarks by Iraq’s Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi who — following a visit to Riyadh — spoke of the Saudis’ willingness to find a diplomatic resolution to their differences with Iran. It is not yet clear if the Iraqi premier will be shuttling between the two camps. But Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said Abdul Mahdi would be “more than welcome.”

Saudi Arabia’s powerful de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — commonly referred to by his initials, MBS — elaborated on the implications of a possible military conflict with Iran. In a CBS interview that aired Sept. 29, MBS warned that such a war could lead to “a total collapse of the global economy, and not just Saudi Arabia or the Middle East countries.”

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