DECEMBER 9, 2022
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Iran’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia to depart for Riyadh

Iran’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia to depart for Riyadh

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Iran has announced that their ambassador to Saudi Arabia is preparing to depart for Riyadh, where he will take the lead in Tehran's diplomatic mission. This mission was officially reopened in early June after a seven-year hiatus.

Alireza Enayati, the newly appointed envoy to Saudi Arabia, recently met with Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian to present his final report before heading to Riyadh, as confirmed by the ministry.

This diplomatic reconciliation marks the end of a seven-year diplomatic estrangement between the two nations. Iran first reopened its embassy in Riyadh in June, followed by the reopening of its consulate in Jeddah and the establishment of a representative office with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

The rupture in diplomatic ties occurred in 2016 when Iranian demonstrators stormed Saudi missions within Iran, in response to the execution of a prominent Shia religious leader by the predominantly Sunni Saudi kingdom.

However, a breakthrough in restoring diplomatic relations was achieved in March through an agreement signed in Beijing, brokered by China. This followed five rounds of direct talks held in Iraq, with mediation and assistance from Oman.

Alireza Enayati, a former envoy to Kuwait and a Deputy at the Foreign Ministry for regional affairs, had recently visited Riyadh to help prepare for the reopening of the embassy.

In mid-August, he hosted Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian at the embassy, coinciding with the top diplomat's visit to Saudi Arabia, where he held discussions with his Saudi counterpart, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS).

This visit came after Amirabdollahian hosted his Saudi counterpart in Tehran in mid-June, during which both sides expressed their optimism about re-establishing diplomatic relations.

Iran has announced that President Ebrahim Raisi has accepted an invitation for a historic visit to Saudi Arabia in the near future, although no specific date has been set yet.

In a recent interview with the local Shargh newspaper, Enayati remarked that bilateral relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia are progressing steadily.

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