Iran, Saudi Arabia
Iran, Saudi Arabia iStock

Senior officials from Saudi Arabia and Iran have met recently for direct talks in an attempt to repair relations between the two nations, the Financial Times reported.

Saudi Arabia, considered the leader of Sunni Islam, and Iran, considered the leader of Shi'ite Islam, are regional rivals and cut off diplomatic relations in 2016.

The officials met in Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, earlier this month. The meeting comes as the Biden Administration has pressured Saudi Arabia to end its military campaign against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen and to re-enter the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is seeking to repair relations with the Biden Administration, which has been distancing itself from Saudi Arabia.

According to officials familiar with the negotiations, the initial talks were "positive" and included discussions about ending the conflict with the Houthis.

Saudi officials denied that the talks have taken place. However, Iraqi officials have confirmed the existence of the talks.