Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Iran’s Embassy in Saudi Arabia Opens its Doors after Seven Years

The Iranian embassy in Saudi Arabia reopened its doors on Wednesday for the first time in seven years as part of an agreement to re-establish contacts that may lessen a long-standing rivalry that has contributed to tensions throughout the Middle East.

A team was surveying the grounds of the Iranian embassy in Riyadh with the massive gates of the property open, a Reuters correspondent reported. At the gate, a white truck was spotted approaching. After the Iranian foreign ministry reported that a technical group had arrived in the kingdom, the diplomatic mission was officially launched.

The establishment of an embassy and general consulate would be accomplished in Riyadh and Jeddah, according to a statement by Nasser Kanaani, spokesman for the Iranian foreign ministry.

Since Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran in 2016 as a result of its embassy in Tehran being stormed during a disagreement between the two nations over Riyadh’s death of a Shi’ite preacher, the mission had been closed. As it evacuated its embassy workers from Tehran, the kingdom then demanded that Iranian diplomats go within 48 hours.

After Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates joined in Yemen’s war, where the Iran-aligned Houthi movement had overthrown a Saudi-backed government and taken control of the nation’s capital Sanaa, the relationship had started to deteriorate a year earlier.

Riyadh accused Iran of equipping the Houthis, who later utilised armed drones and ballistic missiles to target Saudi cities. In 2019, the monarchy directly blamed the Islamic Republic for an attack on Aramco oil facilities that cut off half of its oil production.

Iran has refuted these allegations. Conflict in the region was exacerbated by the animosity between the two largest oil producers and arch-rivals in the area. In a deal mediated by China last month, they consented to halt their diplomatic dispute and reopen their diplomatic missions. For the first official assembly of its senior diplomats, the foreign ministers of the two nations convened in Beijing earlier this month.Iran has refuted these allegations.

Conflict in the region was exacerbated by the animosity between the two largest oil producers and arch-rivals in the area. In a deal mediated by China last month, they consented to halt their diplomatic dispute and reopen their diplomatic missions. For the first official assembly of its senior diplomats, the foreign ministers of the two nations convened in Beijing earlier this month.

The Saudi foreign ministry announced on Saturday that Saudi officials had also arrived in Iran to discuss the process for restoring Riyadh’s embassies in Tehran and Mashhad.

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