January 17, 2022
Iran confirmed Monday that three of its diplomats have arrived in Saudi Arabia to represent Tehran in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
A report by state media said the diplomats arrived several days ago, marking the first time that Saudi Arabia is receiving diplomats from Iran since 2016, when Riyadh severed relations with Tehran after Iranian hardliners attacked and ransacked its diplomatic missions in Iran.
Iran has taken the development as a positive sign for improving ties and a possible exchange of diplomats. Jeddah is the permanent venue of the 57-member organization.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said that Iran is focusing for now on reopening its offices in OIC with three diplomats. Iran has long said it’s ready to reopen its embassy in Riyadh.
In recent months, neighboring Iraq has hosted talks between the two countries aimed at normalizing ties. Although Tehran in recent days has been claiming that new talks will take place, Riyadh has been silent on the issue, saying previous talks in 2021 remained explaratory.
Saudi Arabia is also concerned about Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missiles programs. Iran says the nuclear program has peaceful purposes and its missile program is merely defensive.