Iran Says Dialogue With Saudi Arabia 'Constructive, Tehran Ready to Restore Diplomatic Ties
© Sputnik / Andrey SteninIranian Foreign Ministry
© Sputnik / Andrey Stenin/
Saudi Arabia severed ties with the Islamic Republic after the latter failed to protect its embassy in Tehran from an angry mob in 2016. The infuriated Iranians attacked the diplomatic building after Riyadh executed a prominent Shia cleric for alleged meddling in the kingdom's domestic affairs.
Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian has stated in an interview with Al Jazeera TV that Tehran is ready to restore diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia at any moment. He noted that the two countries have an ongoing dialogue that is "positive and constructive."
The diplomat further stressed the importance of a broad dialogue between regional powers, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey, to resolve the region's problems. Amirabdollahian added that Iran will be returning to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in the nearest future.
Saudi Arabia cut its diplomatic ties to Iran in January 2016 after a group of angry protesters attacked and eventually ransacked its embassy in Tehran. The assault on the embassy happened in the wake of the kingdom's decision to execute prominent Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr earlier the same month for his purported meddling in Saudi affairs.
Riyadh accused Tehran of failing to properly protect its diplomatic property and withdrew its diplomatic mission. Iran has been trying to repair ties in the last few years and the two states reportedly held negotiations on the matter. One of Tehran's attempts at mending relations was however thwarted by the US in 2020 – its drones killed prominent Iranian general Qassem Soleimani after he arrived in Iraq with a mission to pass Iran's proposal to Saudi Arabia via the government in Baghdad.