Spokesman: Iranian Diplomats’ Presence in S. Arabia Good Prelude to Open Embassies
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said that three diplomats of the country have visited Saudi Arabia to start their work at the headquarters of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), describing the development as a good prelude to open embassies.
“Three Iranian diplomats have arrived in Jeddah to start their work at the OIC,” Khatibzadeh told reporters in his weekly press conference on Monday.
Khatibzadeh described the latest development as “a good prelude for the two sides to visit their embassies”.
“Iran has always expressed its readiness to open its embassy in Saudi Arabia,” he added.
The spokesman also said paying attention to one’s words and deeds is a prelude to a détente between Tehran and Riyadh, which, “God willing, our friends in Saudi Arabia are increasingly cognizant of”.
On Saturday, a member of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee said Iran and Saudi Arabia are preparing to reopen embassies after five years of severed ties.
The restoration of ties between the two important countries of Iran and Saudi Arabia would play a substantial role in easing tensions in the region, Jalil Rahimi Jahanabadi said in a tweet.
Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran in January 2016 after Iranian protesters, enraged by the Saudi execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, stormed its embassy in Tehran.
For years, the kingdom pursued a confrontational foreign policy toward the Islamic Republic, but since last year, the kingdom appears to have changed tack.
The two Middle East heavyweights have held four rounds of talks since April, including a meeting last month under the Iranian administration of President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud in an interview with the Financial Times in October signaled his country’s desire to repair relations with Iran, saying the kingdom is “serious” about talks with the Islamic Republic.
Describing the negotiations as “exploratory” but “cordial”, he said “we are serious about the talks. For us it’s not that big a shift. We’ve always said we want to find a way to stabilize the region”.
Also, in an interview with Al Jazeera published earlier this month, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said Tehran and Riyadh have so far held four rounds of “positive and constructive” talks in Iraq.
He expressed Tehran’s readiness to restore relations with Riyadh at any time, adding that Iran welcomes the reopening of the two sides’ embassies and consulates.