Prince Faisal bin Farhan
Prince Faisal bin Farhan Reuters

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, said on Saturday the kingdom was looking to schedule a fifth round of direct talks with regional rival Iran despite a "lack of substantive progress" so far.

Prince Faisal said, according to the Reuters news agency, that if the 2015 nuclear pact was revived that should be "a starting point, not an end point" in order to address regional concerns, and that Riyadh remained interested in talks with Iran.

"That will indeed require from our neighbors in Iran a serious desire to address the underlying issues that exist ... We hope that there is a serious desire to find a new modus operandi," he added.

"If we see substantive progress on those files, then yes rapprochement is possible. So far we have not seen that," he told the Munich Security Conference.

Saudi Arabia and Iran held talks last year with the aim of improving relations, for the first time since cutting ties in 2016.

While no breakthrough has yet been reached, Iran's Foreign Minister said in October they are on the right track.

The two countries are vying for influence in a rivalry that has played out across the region in events such as Yemen's war and in Lebanon.

Saudi Arabia has also long spoken out against the Islamic Republic’s attempts to acquire nuclear weapons.

During the negotiations between Iran and world powers on the 2015 nuclear deal, Saudi Arabia and other major Sunni states expressed concern over a deal which would allow Iran to produce nuclear weapons – a position which placed them very close to Israel’s position on the matter.

Ultimately, however, Saudi Arabia's government announced that it welcomed the deal.