Iran, Saudi Arabia agree to resume ties, reopen embassies


Tehran praises China’s role in rapprochement

Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed on Friday to re-establish relations after a seven-year diplomatic rupture which has fuelled tensions in the Gulf and deepened conflicts from Yemen to Syria.

The agreement was reached after talks in Beijing between top security officials from the two rival Middle East powers.

“As a result of the talks, Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to resume diplomatic relations and reopen embassies … within two months,” Iranian news agency IRNA reported.

Iranian and Saudi media said a statement by the two countries emphasised respect for sovereignty and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.

Saudi Arabia’s state news agency said they also agreed to activate a security cooperation agreement signed in 2001, as well as another earlier accord on trade, econo my, and investment.

Iran’s top security official, Ali Shamkhani, who signed the agreement with Saudi Arabia’s national security adviser, Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban, praised China for its role in the rapprochement, Iran’s Nour News reported.

Both Saudi Arabia and Iran thanked Iraq and Oman for hosting talks in 2021 and 2022.

The two leading powers in the Middle East have been at odds for years, and backed opposite sides in proxy wars from Yemen to Syria and elsewhere.