Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Iran arrived on Tuesday in the Islamic Republic, while his counterpart landed in Riyadh, which confirmed the official restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries after seven years.
Iran and Saudi Arabia have agreed to resume relations and reopen embassies following a deal brokered by China in March.
Riyadh and Tehran severed relations in 2016 after Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic facilities in Iran were attacked by protesters angry over Riyadh’s killing of Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr.
Saudi Arabia’s leadership recognizes the “importance of strengthening relations, increasing trade… and expanding relations,” said Ambassador Abdullah Alanazi when he arrived in Tehran to begin his work, according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Outside of Saudi Arabia.
Also on Tuesday, Iran’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Alireza Enayati, arrived in the capital Riyadh, where he was received by officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and embassy staff, according to the Iranian news agency IRNA.
Alanazi was previously Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Oman, while Enyati was Iran’s ambassador to Kuwait.
The Saudi embassy in Tehran reopened last month. In June, Iran celebrated the reopening of its embassy in Riyadh with a flag-raising ceremony.
Last month, Iran’s top diplomat, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, emphasized unity and dialogue during his first visit to Saudi Arabia since the sudden rapprochement was announced, saying relations The two sides are “going in the right direction”.
Iran and Saudi Arabia have been supporting each other in the war zones of the Middle East for years.
Since the March deal, Saudi Arabia has restored ties with Iran-allied Syria and stepped up peace efforts in Yemen, where it has for years led a military coalition against Iran-backed Houthi forces.