Iran has decided to reopen its embassy in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, June 6, following a seven-year closure, a diplomatic source told Agence France-Presse (AFP), sealing a Chinese-brokered rapprochement deal announced in March.
The rupture in relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran occurred in 2016 when Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Tehran and consulate in Mashhad were attacked during protests against the execution of Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr by Riyadh.
Under the leadership of Alireza Enayati, a former Iranian ambassador to Kuwait, Iran’s diplomatic mission, which was expelled by Saudi authorities, will be reinstated.
A diplomatic source in Riyadh informed AFP on Monday that the opening of the Iranian embassy will occur on Tuesday at 6:00 pm local time (1500 GMT), with the presence of the newly appointed Iranian ambassador. Saudi Arabia has yet to announce the reopening of its embassy in Tehran or name its ambassador.
Earlier last month, Iranian media had already identified Enayati as the Saudi envoy for the Islamic Republic. He has previously held positions as the assistant to the foreign minister and director general of Gulf affairs at the Iranian foreign ministry.
After years of discord, both influential Middle Eastern nations surprised the world by signing a reconciliation agreement in China on March 10. Since then, Saudi Arabia has restored ties with Syria, an ally of Tehran, and intensified efforts to foster peace in Yemen, where it has been leading a military coalition against the Iran-backed Huthi rebels.
For years, Iran and Saudi Arabia had supported opposing factions in various conflicts throughout the Middle East before taking steps to mend their strained relationship.