Saudi Arabia and Iran to reopen embassies 'within days'

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian says Riyadh-Tehran detente will have 'positive repercussions on the whole region'

Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said President Ebrahim Raisi would visit Damascus 'in the near future'. EPA
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Iran and Saudi Arabia will reopen embassies in each others' countries “within days”, the Iranian Foreign Minister said on Friday.

The comments were made by Hossein Amirabdollahian during a visit to Lebanon come a month after Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and reopen embassies after years of tension in an agreement brokered by China.

He did not give specific dates for the reopening of the embassies.

“During the last phone call between the foreign ministers of Iran and Saudi Arabia on Eid Al Fitr, we agreed to work in the next coming days on the reopening of the Iranian and Saudi embassies in Tehran and Riyadh,” Mr Amirabdollahian said.

He said the Riyadh-Tehran detente would have “positive repercussions on the whole region and in Lebanon in particular”.

The Foreign Minister added that Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi would visit Damascus “in the near future”, on the first such trip to Syria since the country's civil war began in 2011.

Iran is one of the strongest supporters of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.

Mr Amirabdollahian said there was a “programme” in place for the visit which would occur in “the near future”, though he did not indicate a specific time frame.

The Foreign Minister is expected to visit the Syrian capital after departing from Lebanon.

Mr Amirabdollahian met Prime Minister Najib Mikati during his visit to Lebanon, which is entrenched in a devastating economic crisis and has been without a president for six months.

He also met Hassan Nasrallah, head of the influential Iran-backed political party and armed group Hezbollah, which holds significant sway in the country.

Updated: April 28, 2023, 10:16 PM