Iran has asked Saudi Arabia to help sell its oil and circumvent US sanctions in exchange for limiting Houthi attacks on the kingdom’s oil facilities, Iraqi officials familiar with negotiations taking place in Baghdad have told Middle East Eye.
After breaking diplomatic ties in 2016, the long-standing regional rivals began a series of direct talks in the Iraqi capital last month.
Their goal, one official told MEE, is to end the state of conflict and incitement waged by the institutions associated with both countries at all levels”.
A new round of secret discussions was held last week in the presence of a limited number of Iraqi officials who participate in the meetings by “contributing to the convergence of views and moistening the atmosphere”.
Iraqi sources say the war in Yemen remains the most discussed topic on the table and was the focus of a four-hour conversation during last week’s talks.
During this conversation, the Saudis sought to guarantee the end of attacks, nearly daily in recent months, by Iranian-backed Houthis on its oil and economic institutions.
The Iranians, meanwhile, focused on breaking the economic bottleneck Tehran has suffered since the administration of former US president Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear agreement in 2018 and reimposed wide-ranging sanctions on the country.
Specifically, the Iranians called on the Saudis to help them sell their oil once again, according to a senior Iraqi official close to Iran and familiar with the progress of the negotiations.
“They offered to sell it to the Saudis at a price lower than international prices on the condition that the Saudis sell it on the world markets in their own way,” the official told MEE.
Iran currently relies mainly on the United Arab Emirates and Oman to sell its oil informally, and needs another regional outlet to bypass the US-imposed blockade. Saudi Arabia appears to be an ideal option for the Iranians now, Iraqi officials said.
Source » middle east eye