Preparations underway for reopening Saudi, Iranian embassies

April 30, 2023 - 21:39

TEHRAN – A senior Iranian lawmaker has said that preparations for reopening the embassy of Iran and Saudi Arabia are underway, noting that the two countries will name ambassadors. 

Vahid Jalalzadeh, who is the head of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, implied that thaw in Iran-Saudi relations is part of the Raisi administration’s “neighborhood policy”.

“The policy of strengthening relations with neighbors has been followed well by the government. So far, we have established a balanced relationship with the majority of our neighbors in Central Asia, in the Persian Gulf and in the east of the country,” Jalalzadeh said in remarks to Mehr News. “Many of the problems we had with some countries in Central Asia have been resolved in the 13th government, and we are now in a good relationship with these countries.”

He added, “The government's recent policy in de-escalating tensions with some countries in the Persian Gulf region, including the UAE, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia, has been a good policy. Of course, we expect this approach to be exploited in the economic and political fields.”

Commenting on the latest developments regarding the reopening of embassies of Iran and Saudi Arabia, Jalalzadeh said, “In order to activate the embassies and representatives of the two countries, a series of measures and preparations are necessary, which are being carried out, and then the exchange of ambassadors of the two countries will take place.”

The MP noted, “Our emphasis is that the resumption of Iran's relations with countries like Saudi Arabia should have its effects on the economic and political spheres and for the nations of the region. Saudi Arabia and Iran are two very important countries in the Islamic world and the region, and if these two countries have a good and balanced relationship with each other, it will benefit the nations of the region, and we can also see a better approach in the future when facing the enemies of the Islamic world.”

He concluded, “The Majlis supports the government's policy of strengthening relations with its neighbors and de-escalating tensions. Of course, we are waiting for political and economic benefits from de-escalation with countries like Saudi Arabia and the strengthening of the neighborhood policy, and we must see its effects in practice.”

Iran and Saudi Arabia have recently agreed to resume diplomatic relations in a deal brokered by China. The foreign ministers of Iran and Saudi Arabia have met in Beijing to follow up on the deal. The two countries are now exchanging delegations to pave the way for reopening embassies.

A senior Iranian diplomat has said that Iran and Saudi Arabia will reopen their embassies before the end of the two-month period agreed upon in their March agreement.

Alireza Enayati, the head of the Persian Gulf Bureau at the Iranian Foreign Ministry, has said that according to the deal, the embassies of the two countries will be reopened before May 9. The deal also stipulated that the foreign ministers of the two countries would hold a meeting for the first time in years.

“This issue took place within a month, and the foreign ministries of the two countries met in Beijing, and from that date, the official declaration of relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Saudi Arabia began, and after that, the technical delegations met each other,” Enayati said in an interview with Iran’s official news agency IRNA.

He also pointed out that a new meeting of foreign ministers is on the agenda of Iran and Saudi Arabia, and “we hope that these meetings will take place in the near future.”


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