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Iran Suspends Talks With Regional Rival Saudi After Mass Executions

March 13, 2022

Iran has unilaterally suspended talks aimed at defusing longstanding tensions with regional rival Saudi Arabia, Iranian state media reported on March 13.

The media reports didn't give a reason for Tehran's decision, but it came a day after Saudi Arabia said it had executed 81 men in its biggest mass execution in decades.

Activists said, 41 of them were Shi'ite Muslims from the eastern Qatif region, which has historically been a flash point between the Sunni-dominated government and minority Shi'ites.

Riyadh severed ties with Iran in 2016, after Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi Embassy in Tehran following the execution of a prominent Shi'ite cleric in Saudi Arabia.

Shi'ite-led Iran and Sunni-controlled Saudi Arabia, which are locked in proxy conflicts around the region, started direct talks last year to try to contain tensions and restore ties.

The two countries have held four rounds of talks in Iraq since April, and a new round was expected on March 16.

There was no immediate comment from the Saudi authorities.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/iran-suspends- saudi-talks-executions/31751132.html

Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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