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Iran: Too early to talk about re-opening our embassy in Riyadh

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh in Tehran, Iran on October 5, 2020 [Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency]
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh in Tehran, Iran on October 5, 2020 [Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency]

The Iranian Foreign Ministry said today that it is "too early" to talk about re-opening Tehran's embassy in Saudi Arabia.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Saeed Khatibzadeh, said in televised press conference: "It is too early to talk about the reopening of embassies by Tehran and Riyadh."

This was in response to a question raised by a reporter on whether Iranian pilgrims travelling to Saudi Arabia for Hajj indicates the resumption of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Last week, the first convoy of Iranian pilgrims set off for Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj, the first such trip by Iranians in two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Both Riyadh and Tehran consider the Hajj file separate from any diplomatic conflicts.

Since 2021, Baghdad has hosted talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia in order to end the estrangement between the two which began in 2016 and to reach understandings regarding the conflicts between them in a number of files, the most prominent of which is the war in Yemen and the nuclear programme. The most recent talks were held in April.

In January 2016, Saudi Arabia cut ties with Iran after attacks on the Saudi embassy in Tehran and its consulate in the city of Mashhad in protest of the kingdom's executing Shia religious cleric, Nimr Al-Nimr, on charges including terrorism.

Gulf countries, led by Saudi Arabia, accuse Iran of having an expansionist "Shia agenda" in the region and interfering in the internal affairs of Arab countries, including Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and Syria. Tehran denies this and says that it keeps good neighbourly relations.

READ: Iran says last talks with Saudi Arabia 'positive'

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IranMiddle EastNewsSaudi Arabia
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