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For the first time in years' "Financial Times": Senior officials from Saudi Arabia and Iran met in Iraq! 2021.08.18 - 15:08 People - Baghdad The Financial Times, citing officials familiar with the matter, said on Sunday that senior Saudi and Iranian officials have held direct talks in an effort to mend ties between the two regional rivals, four years after they cut diplomatic ties. A report of the newspaper followed by "People" (April 18, 2021), citing an official, added that the first round of Saudi-Iranian talks took place in Baghdad on April 9, and included positive discussions about the Houthi attacks. The newspaper also quoted a senior Saudi official who denied holding any talks with Iran. Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi visited Saudi Arabia late last month. The Yemeni Houthi group is stepping up attacks on Saudi Arabia, which it says is intercepting most of the drones and missiles that the Houthis announce being launched at airports, air bases and energy infrastructure, but some cause damage. Saudi Arabia leads a military coalition that intervened in the Yemen war in March 2015 against the Houthis, who overthrew the internationally recognized Yemeni government from Sanaa in late 2014. In response to the Saudi military intervention, the Houthis launch attacks on the kingdom with missiles or drones. In September 2019, Saudi Arabia was subjected to a major attack by a missile and drone on oil facilities, forcing Saudi Arabia to temporarily halt more than half of its crude oil production, and resulting in a significant rise in prices. At that time, Riyadh held Iran responsible for the attack, and said it did not start from Yemen, which Tehran denied. Several media outlets quoted some Western officials, an official in an Iraqi armed faction and an Iranian security source as saying that a drone attack on Saudi Arabia was thwarted last January, which had been launched from Iraqi lands within an increasing wave of attacks by Iranian proxies on the Kingdom. The conflict is widely seen in the region as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The Houthis deny they are proxies of Iran and say they are fighting a corrupt regime. According to what was published by the Financial Times, the talks, led on the Saudi side by Khaled Al-Humaidan, head of General Intelligence, included the attacks of the Yemeni Houthi group, loyal to Iran, on Saudi Arabia.