Saudi embassy in Iran resumes work after seven years

TEHRAN: Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Tehran has resumed operations after a seven-year hiatus, it was reported by Iranian state media on Wednesday.

This development follows the recent restoration of diplomatic ties and reopening of embassies between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The diplomatic breakthrough was facilitated by a China-brokered agreement announced in March.

The two nations had severed relations in 2016 due to attacks on Saudi diplomatic facilities in Iran during protests triggered by Saudi Arabia’s execution of cleric Nimr al-Nimr.

The official news agency IRNA reported that the Saudi embassy in Iran has been operational since Sunday, according to an “informed source” from Iran’s foreign ministry. However, there has not been any official confirmation from Riyadh about this news.

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In June, Iran reopened its embassy in Riyadh with a flag-raising ceremony. The delay in reopening the Saudi embassy in Tehran was attributed to the building’s poor condition resulting from the 2016 protests. It has been reported that Saudi diplomats will temporarily operate from a luxury hotel in Tehran while repairs on the embassy building are completed.

Since the diplomatic breakthrough in March, Saudi Arabia has not only restored relations with Syria, an Iranian ally, but also increased efforts towards peace in Yemen. The country has led a military coalition against the Iran-backed Houthi forces in Yemen for several years.

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