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Saudi Arabia issues visa for Iran diplomat

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Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic ties with Iran in 2016 when Iranian protesters stormed its embassy in Tehran.

Saudi Arabia has issued a visa for an Iranian diplomat to enter the Kingdom in a rare move since the two countries severed relations in 2016, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported.

“Saudi Arabia has agreed to grant visa to head of the interests section of Iran,” IRNA reported, citing an “informed source” that it did not name.

The Saudi decision constitutes a “positive diplomatic step” towards bilateral relations, the source said.

Diplomatic ties were cut following a 2016 attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran and its consular office in Mashhad, which came after Saudi authorities executed Shia preacher Nimr Al-Nimr.

Read: Could Saudi Arabia replace all the barrels lost from Iran sanctions?

The interests section is expected to operate through the Swiss embassy in Saudi Arabia, in line with an agreement signed in 2017.

Riyadh has not issued statements in response to the Iranian news agency’s story.

In May, Saudi Arabia welcomed US President Donal Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and to reinstate economic sanctions on the country.

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Asia & AmericasIranMiddle EastNewsSaudi ArabiaUS
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