Washington welcomes talks between Iran, Saudi Arabia

TEHRAN, Dec. 21 (MNA) – US Department of State spokesperson said that Washington welcome talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran, hoping that this dialogue will contribute to a de-escalation of tensions between the countries.

Speaking in his weekly press conference, US Department of State spokesperson Ned Price spoke about Tehran-Riyadh relations, saying, "We welcome direct talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran."

"We hope this dialogue will contribute to a de-escalation of tensions. Both countries have a potential constructive role to play in helping to ensure regional security, but of course, we’d refer you to those respective governments for updates on the situation", he added.

He also spoke about the latest developments in Vienna talks, saying that there has been some progress in the most recent element of the second round.

"We, of course, noted the announcement between Iran and the IAEA of the arrangement to restore elements of transparency to the IAEA monitoring program on the ground in Iran, to reinstall the cameras at Karaj", he claimed.

That’s an important step. It’s a welcome step. But again, we are clear-eyed about this, because this was a step that never should have been necessary in the first place, he said.

The second element of modest progress is that there is a common understanding of what the text will be that will serve as the basis for negotiations, he noted.

He said, "And he went on to make the point that we don’t yet have the text, but we have an outline or we have an agenda for discussions of that text when they resume."

"So that’s all positive. That’s all good and well. But in many ways, that really only takes us to where we were as of June, and so we’re, as he put it, I believe, curbing our enthusiasm for where we are and where we might go. There’s still a lot of work to do", he claimed.

"What we experienced, what the team experienced on the ground in Vienna until the talks adjourned late last week, it progressed, but it wasn’t at a pace that was sufficient to get us to where we need", he also claimed.

RHM/FNA14000930000034/PR

News Code 182024

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