Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to restore their diplomatic relations after seven years

Iran Saudi Arabia Relations

Iran and Saudi Arabia announced this Friday that they have reached an agreement to restore their diplomatic relations, broken by Riyadh in 2016 after the attacks on their diplomatic headquarters in the Persian country.

The deal between the two Shiite and Sunni Middle Eastern powers has been finalized in China, where the two sides were in negotiations with the support of Beijing, according to a joint statement by the three countries published by Iranian state media.

“The Islamic Republic of Tehran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have decided to resume their diplomatic relations and reopen their embassies in two months,” according to the statement.

Tehran and Riyadh have held talks in Beijing since Monday, led by the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, and the Saudi National Security Adviser, Musaid Al Aiban, according to the Iranian agency Tasnim.

“Relations between Tehran and Riyadh will lead to the development of regional stability and security and will increase cooperation between the countries of the Persian Gulf and the Islamic world to face existing challenges,” Shamkhani said after the signing of the agreement, according to television. Iranian Presstv.

The Iranian Foreign Minister, Hosein Amir Abdolahian, and his Saudi counterpart, Faisal bin Farhan, will hold a meeting in the coming days to discuss the reopening of their embassies and their ambassadors.

Saudi Arabia cut off diplomatic relations with Tehran in 2016 after attacks on its diplomatic headquarters in the Persian country following the execution in the Arab kingdom of an important Shiite cleric.

In April 2021, secret talks between Tehran and Riyadh began in Baghdad, which was later made public. In addition, the two parties also maintained contact in Oman, without any progress being announced.

In mid-early 2022, Iran sent three diplomats to Saudi Arabia as representatives to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), marking the first time in six years that Tehran had a presence in the rival country.

Iran and Saudi Arabia considered the Shiite and Sunni powers of the Middle East, respectively, have been fighting for regional hegemony for years and have supported rival sides in conflicts in the area.

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly accused Iran of promoting terrorism in the region by supporting the Houthi rebels in Yemen or the militias of the Lebanese group Hezbollah, as well as trying to destabilize the political regimes in the area.