Iran names ambassador to Saudi after seven-year gap

Published May 24, 2023
Alireza Enayati, Iran’s new ambassador to Saudi Arabia. — Photo courtesy Tehran Times
Alireza Enayati, Iran’s new ambassador to Saudi Arabia. — Photo courtesy Tehran Times

Iran has named an ambassador to Saudi Arabia, state media reported on Wednesday, sealing a thaw in relations more than seven years after the regional rivals severed ties.

The new envoy, Alireza Enayati, previously served as Iran’s ambassador to Kuwait, assistant to the foreign minister and director general of Gulf affairs at the foreign ministry, the English-language Iran Daily said.

There was no immediate confirmation of his appointment from the foreign ministry of the Islamic republic.

The Middle East heavyweights, after years of discord, signed a surprise reconciliation agreement in China on March 10.

Saudi Arabia had severed relations with Iran in 2016 after its embassy in Tehran and consulate in the second city of Mashhad were attacked during protests over the kingdom’s execution of Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr.

The two governments held several rounds of dialogue in Iraq and Oman before signing the reconciliation agreement.

They had backed opposing sides in conflict zones across the Middle East for years before mending fences.

In Yemen, Saudi Arabia has led a military coalition in support of the internationally recognised government, while Iran backed the Huthi rebels who control the capital Sanaa and large areas of the north.

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