During a seven-year period of enmity, Saudi Arabia and Iran declared on Friday that they had reached a deal to reestablish diplomatic ties. This agreement between two regional enemies may have broad ramifications for the Middle East.
Under a deal brokered by China, Riyadh and Tehran want to reopen their embassies, according to a joint statement released by Saudi Arabia and Iran on Friday.
Iran, Saudi Arabia, and China released a statement saying that Riyadh and Tehran have agreed “to resume diplomatic relations between them and re-open their embassies and missions within a period not exceeding two months”.
“The agreement includes their affirmation of the respect for the sovereignty of states and the non-interference in internal affairs.”
According to Iranian state media, talks involving Ali Shamkhani, the head of Iran’s National Security Council, Mosaed Bin Mohammed Al-Aiban, the adviser to Saudi Arabia’s National Security Council, and Wang Yi, China’s top diplomat, have been going on since March 6 in Beijing.
Iran was held responsible by Saudi Arabia for attacks on oil facilities, tankers in Gulf waterways, and missile and drone attacks in 2019. Iran refuted the accusations.
In response to Iranian protesters entering the Saudi embassy in Tehran after a Shi’ite cleric was executed in Saudi Arabia, Riyadh severed ties with Tehran in 2016. Since then, they have engaged in a proxy conflict that has drawn in a number of nearby nations and brought the area dangerously close to war.
The Houthi movement in Yemen, which is supported by Iran, has frequently attacked Saudi Arabia with cross-border missile and drone attacks. In 2022, the coalition that is leading the fight against the Houthis expanded the strikes to include the United Arab Emirates.
Under the agreement reached on Friday, Saudi Arabia and Iran also agreed to put into effect a prior agreement on commerce, economics, and investment as well as a security cooperation agreement that was struck in 2001.
For holding earlier discussions in 2021 and 2022, both nations praised China as well as Iraq and Oman.