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IPFS News Link • Iran

Iran & US Use Saudi Arabia To Swap Messages, Seek To Cool Gaza Tensions

•, Via Middle East Eye

High-ranking officials in Riyadh have been instrumental in relaying messages between the countries and reducing tensions over Israel's war on Gaza.

The process began in November, when Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian attended an emergency summit in Riyadh on the Gaza war attended by leaders from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Arab League countries. An Iranian insider familiar with the matter told MEE that Amirabdollahian carried with him a message for the US to give to Saudi officials. It was a response to one recently received from Washington. The Saudis then conveyed this message to senior officials in Washington, the source said.

Another source in Iran's foreign ministry told MEE that Saudi Arabia has been used as a conduit between the two sides alongside Oman, Qatar and Switzerland, which occasionally represents the US diplomatically in Tehran. The four countries have had to work as go-betweens repeatedly since the October 7 Hamas-led attack on Israel and the war on Gaza.

Iran is the Palestinian group's strongest backer, and other Iranian-associated groups such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthi movement in Yemen have attacked Israel and Israeli- and US-linked targets as Israel's assault on Gaza has escalated.

According to the foreign ministry source, the communications passed between Iran and the US have primarily focused on curbing tensions and avoiding greater escalation in the region. The source said Tehran had warned the US about the potential consequences if Israel's war on Gaza, which has already killed 24,000 people, brings regional tensions to an uncontrollable level. These included Israel being defeated in a broader regional war and increased security pressure on the US military.