Skip to main content

Saudi Arabia, Iran FMs to meet 'soon' after phone call

Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed earlier this month to resume relations in a deal brokered by China.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) meets with Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud in Moscow on March 9, 2023. (Photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ALEXANDER ZEMLIANICHENKO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Saudi and Iranian top diplomats held a call on Thursday in a further sign of improving relations between the two countries, three weeks since China brokered a deal to resume diplomatic relations between Tehran and Riyadh.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan held a call with his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, to exchange greetings for the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. They also agreed to hold a meeting “soon,” the Saudi Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

 

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to expand and strengthen ties with Saudi Arabia,” Amir-Abdollahian said. The two also discussed reopening embassies and consulates in their respective countries, according to a statement from the Iranian Foreign Ministry. 

Why it matters: Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed March 10 to resume diplomatic relations. Per the agreement, they are to reopen their respective embassies and consulates within two months. Iran said last week that its President Ibrahim Raisi received an invite from Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to visit the Kingdom. 

Saudi Arabia cut ties with Iran in 2016 after its embassy in Tehran was attacked. The mob was angry about the execution of a Shiite cleric in Saudi Arabia. The two countries are also on opposite sides of regional conflicts, most notably Yemen. Saudi Arabia backs the government, while Iran supports the Houthi rebels. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Iran agreed to stop covert weapons shipments to the Houthis. 

The Iran-Saudi agreement demonstrated China's growing influence in the Middle East. Iraq also helped Saudi Arabia and Iran repair relations by hosting reconciliation talks starting in 2021. 

Know more: Iran and Saudi Arabia agreeing to resume relations was a major geopolitical event. Pakistan, which has had good relations with both, is looking forward to calmer Iranian-Saudi relations, Sabena Siddiqui wrote for Al-Monitor this week. 

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.

Already a Member? Sign in

Free

The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.

Free

What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing
Expert

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial
What's included:
Our Expertise

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to pro.support@al-monitor.com and we'll onboard your team.

Already a Member? Sign in