Code: 1207737 A

Iran has suspended talks with Saudi Arabia, a website affiliated to the country's top security body reported on Sunday.

Iraq's Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein said on Saturday his country would host a new round of Saudi-Iranian talks starting on Wednesday.

The Saudi government media office CIC did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

"Iran has unilaterally suspended talks with Saudi Arabia," Nour news said without providing a reason. It said no specific date had been scheduled for a new round of talks.

Diplomats hope the opening of direct channels between Iran and Saudi Arabia will signal an easing of tensions across the Middle East after years of hostilities that have brought the region close to a full-scale conflict.

They have held four rounds of talks in Iraq, with Baghdad hoping its mediation would stop the neighbours from seeking to settle scores on its territory. Saudi Arabia has described the talks as cordial but exploratory, while Tehran says they had gone a "good distance".

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saudi arabia Middle East
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