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Iran and Saudi Arabia restored diplomatic relations after seven years

Posted by on 2023/03/11. Filed under Breaking News,Headline News,International. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Iran and Saudi Arabia, seen as bitter rivals in the Middle East, have agreed to restore diplomatic ties after a seven-year break.

The surprise announcement came on Friday after four days of Chinese-brokered talks in Beijing between officials from the two countries.

Saudi Arabia broke off diplomatic ties with Iran in January 2016 after demonstrators stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran following the execution of prominent Shiite Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr by Riyadh’s government.

Relations between the two neighbors, led by Sunnis and Shiites, have been tense ever since.

They see each other as a threat seeking regional dominance. In the Middle East, the tussle has spilled over into Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and elsewhere, where they support rival camps, most openly in Yemen.

Iran supports Shiite Houthi rebels who overthrew the Saudi-backed government in 2014, and Saudi Arabia has since led a massive air campaign against the Houthis that has caused havoc.

Saudi Arabia has also accused Iran of helping the Houthis attack Saudi Arabia.

The most serious incident was a drone and missile attack on Saudi oil facilities in 2019, causing damage and disrupting production. Saudi Arabia and its US Allies blamed Iran for the attack, which Tehran denies.

Previous attempts to repair ties have failed, but Saudi Arabia and Iran said on Friday they would reopen embassies in each other’s countries within two months and restart trade and security ties.

The Chinese foreign Ministry said the same day that officials from the two countries had completed talks in Beijing and “reached consensus on addressing their respective concerns”.

Musaad bin Mohammed Al-Aiban, Minister of State and National Security Adviser of Saudi Arabia, and Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, attended the closing ceremony of the dialogue under the auspices of Wang Yi, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Director of Foreign Affairs, according to the information. The two sides also reached the “Beijing Agreement” on the same day, and China, Saudi Arabia and Iran signed a joint statement.

Beijing called the talks “a new page in Shai-Iran relations.”

Mr Wang said Mr Shai’s resumption of diplomatic ties “is a victory for dialogue and peace, and provides major good news for the current turbulent world”.

The United States gave a cautious welcome.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the administration supported “all efforts to de-escalate tensions in the region”, but added: “Whether Iran will live up to its obligations remains to be seen.”

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