Iran reopens embassy in Riyadh after 7 years

Iran on Tuesday reopened its embassy in the Saudi capital Riyadh, seven years after it was closed due to a diplomatic rift.

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alireza Begdali and the representative of Iran in Jeddah, Hassan Zarnagar Abargoui, were present on the occasion, according to media reports.

Iran is also set to reopen its consulate in the Saudi port city of Jeddah on Wednesday.

The announcement about the reopening of Iran's diplomatic missions in Saudi Arabia was made on Monday by Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani after the top Iranian and Saudi diplomats met on the sidelines of the BRICS meeting in South Africa.

The two Persian Gulf countries agreed to revive diplomatic ties in March after two years of negotiations brokered by Iraq and Oman.

China mediated the final round of talks, which was followed by the meeting of foreign ministers in April in Beijing, who formally agreed to reopen diplomatic missions in the two countries.

Saudi Arabia is also reportedly making preparations to reopen its diplomatic missions in Iran but the plan has not been finalized yet.

Saudi Arabia closed its embassy in Tehran and the consulate in Mashhad in January 2016 after an angry mob attacked them following the execution of prominent Saudi Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Al-Nimr.

Late last month, Iran appointed senior diplomat Alireza Enayati as the new ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Enayati, who headed the Persian Gulf department at Iran's Foreign Ministry, previously served as Iran's envoy to Kuwait.

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