TEHRAN – Iran on Monday announced its readiness for the reopening of Iranian embassies and consulates in the two countries.
“Iran has announced several times that if Saudi Arabia is serious about proceeding with reconciliation talks, Tehran will be ready to continue negotiations as well and elevate the talks to the political level and foreign ministries of the two states,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said.
Iran, he said, is willing to put relations with Saudi Arabia on the right track, and embrace the hand which extended out of friendship.
“Iran believes that if the main focus is fulfilling the interests of the two countries, there will be no obstacle to normalization of relations between Tehran and Riyadh,” Kanaani said.
Representatives of Iran and Saudi Arabia have held several rounds of talks in Baghdad during the past year.
Diplomatic relations between Tehran and Riyadh soured following the January 2016 execution of Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, an outspoken critic of the Saudi monarchy, in Saudi Arabia. Riyadh cut ties with Tehran afterwards, responding to attacks by angry protesters on its embassy in the Iranian capital.
Saudi Arabia’s military campaign against Yemen as well as the death of hundreds of Iranian Hajj pilgrims in a deadly crush in Saudi Arabia’s Mina in September 2015 had prepared the ground for the deterioration of tensions between Tehran and Riyadh.