News ID: 115797
Publish Date : 06 June 2023 - 22:35

Iran Reopens Embassy in Saudi Arabia

reopened its embassy in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, marking another milestone toward restoring ties and lowering tensions between the powerful Persian Gulf neighbors. It comes seven years after the kingdom cut off diplomatic ties with the Islamic Republic.
The reopened embassy could ease travel between the countries as they work to resume direct flights, increase trade and restore business ties. Although Saudi Arabia has not yet reopened its embassy in Tehran, Iranian pilgrims will be able to apply more easily for Saudi visas for the hajj pilgrimage and the smaller umrah pilgrimage to Mecca, once ties are fully restored.
News of the reopening was confirmed Tuesday by the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya news network. Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani was quoted on Monday saying that Iranian diplomats had already started helping Iranian pilgrims with the upcoming hajj, which starts later this month. He said Iran’s consulate will also reopen in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, this week.
The two countries agreed in March to restore ties in a deal brokered by China, though both sides had been in Iraqi- and Omani-mediated talks for years prior.
The deal clinched by Beijing is part of a broader realignment reshaping the region, including Saudi Arabia’s decision to begin restoring ties with Syria and its steps toward ending its long-running war in Yemen.
Saudi Arabia has since invited Iran’s president to visit the kingdom, according to Iranian officials. The two countries’ foreign ministers have met face-to-face.
On Friday, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said he will pay an official visit to Tehran in the near future.
Prince Faisal made the announcement during a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Hussein Amir-Abdollahian on the sidelines of a meeting of the BRICS group of emerging countries in Cape Town, South Africa.
“We are moving towards a new stage of mutual relations, which will serve the interests of the two nations and the entire region,” the Saudi foreign minister said.
The rapprochement has even prompted discussions between Egypt and Iran to boost their diplomatic ties. That effort is being mediated by Oman, whose leader recently visited Cairo and Tehran.
Iran’s embassy reopened the same day that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was scheduled to arrive in Saudi Arabia, where he has vowed to push for normalization with the occupying regime of Israel.
Ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran were severed in 2016 after a mass execution in Saudi Arabia that included Nimr al-Nimr, a popular Saudi Shia cleric. He had led anti-government protests demanding greater rights for the minority Shia Muslims.
His execution prompted protests in Tehran outside Saudi Arabia’s embassy there, leading to the rupture in ties.