Tehran is ready to send its envoy to Saudi Arabia tomorrow, Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif stated during a speech at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum. He noted, however, that in order to do so, Iran requires a green light from Riyadh itself.
Iran's foreign minister added that, in his view, it was possible to restore the country's relations with Saudi Arabia.
Zarif said that Tehran had carried out three rounds of talks with the Saudis in Baghdad and that he was ready to send in the ambassador. Yet, the minister noted that everyone is currently waiting for the outcome of Iran's presidential election.
Yesterday's election showed that Ebrahim Raisi, chief justice of Iran, who is perceived as anti-West hardliner, secure a confident victory. He will replace the moderate Hassan Rouhani after eight years in office. While it is so far unclear how Tehran's attitude towards Riyadh will change under the new government, Zarif assured that Iran's foreign policy of "reconciliation" with regional powers will stay in place.
“Iran's foreign policy is about reconciliation and this policy will continue after the elections.”— Antalya Diplomacy Forum (@AntalyaDF) June 19, 2021
– Dr. Mohammad Javad Zarif at #ADFTalks titled "Iran’s Neighborhood Doctrine"@JZarif#MEET4DIPLOMACY pic.twitter.com/MwSSTMFahu
Iran and Saudi Arabia's Relations
Relations between two countries suffered a major blow in 2016 resulting in both states cutting ties. Saudi Arabia's authorities arrested and executed prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr over his alleged attempts to illegally meddle in Riyadh's domestic affairs.
Following his death, a mob of enraged Iranians attacked the Saudi Embassy in Tehran setting it on fire with Molotov cocktails. Riyadh slammed the Iranian authorities for their supposed inaction in the face of the threat to the Saudi diplomatic mission and recalled all of its diplomatic workers, closing the embassy. Iran responded reciprocally at the time.