17 June 2023

Top Saudi diplomat arrives in Tehran as part of restoration of diplomatic ties

17 June 2023

Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat arrived in the Iranian capital, the latest step in the restoration of diplomatic ties between the two Middle East rivals, Iranian state media reported.

The state-run IRNA said that Saudi foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan is going to meet his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amirabdollahian in Tehran.

Prince Faisal is expected to officially inaugurate the kingdom’s embassy later in the Iranian capital.

Both nations reopened their diplomatic missions in recent weeks.

In March, Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and reopen their embassies after seven years of tension.

It was a major diplomatic breakthrough brokered by China, lowering the chance of further conflict between Riyadh and Tehran – both directly, and in proxy conflicts around the region.

Iran has been blamed for a series of attacks in recent years following the United States’ unilateral withdrawal from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers in 2018.

One of those targeted the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry in 2019, temporarily halving the kingdom’s crude production.

Relations between the predominately Shiite Iran and the majority Sunni Saudi Arabia have long been tense.

The kingdom broke ties with Iran in 2016 after protesters attacked Saudi diplomatic posts there.

Saudi Arabia had executed a prominent Shiite cleric along with 46 others days earlier, triggering the demonstrations.

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