World, Middle East

Iranian diplomats arrive in Saudi Arabia after 6 years

Saudi Arabia, Iran severed relations in 2016 following attack on Saudi Embassy in Tehran

Seham al-Khouli  | 17.01.2022 - Update : 18.01.2022
Iranian diplomats arrive in Saudi Arabia after 6 years


Three Iranian diplomats have arrived in Saudi Arabia for the first time in six years to represent Tehran's mission in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Jeddah, according to the Iranian state television on Monday.

"Three Iranian diplomats have arrived in Jeddah to start their work at the OIC," Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told a press conference.

The spokesman said Tehran is ready to reopen its embassy in Riyadh. He, however, added that such move "depends on what practical measures the Saudi side will take."

Iran and Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic ties in January 2016 following an attack on the Saudi Embassy in Tehran after Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr was executed by Saudi authorities.

Relations between the two rivals deteriorated further after Iran in September 2016 accused Saudi authorities of deliberately causing the deaths of around 400 Iranian pilgrims in a 2015 stampede in the Muslim holy city of Mecca.

The two sides have since been engaged in a strong regional rivalry, often accusing each other of waging a proxy war for regional influence.

The two countries, however, held several rounds of Iraq-mediated talks in recent months in an effort to normalize their relations and resolve their differences.

Writing by Ahmed Asmar

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