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Détente with Saudi Arabia proves Iran resolved to secure regional interests: Foreign Ministry

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran's Foreign Ministry

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has said the restoration of diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia proves the Islamic Republic’s resolve to secure the interests of Iranians, Muslim nations, and friendly countries in the West Asia region.

The ministry made the remarks in a statement issued late on Saturday following the restoration of diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia on Friday, after several days of intensive negotiations hosted by China.

“By means of this step, the Iranian government showed that it is strongly determined to realize the interests of Iranians, Muslim nations as well as friendly and neighboring countries, tap regional capacities in order to promote peace and overall stability, and realize common interests of regional governments and nations,” the statement said.

It added that the revival of relations with Saudi Arabia is another step forward by the incumbent Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi’s administration to pursue a balanced foreign policy doctrine, dynamic diplomacy, and materializing policies of good neighborliness.

It also reaffirmed the “positive outcomes” of the reconciliation between Iran and Saudi Arabia in serving the common interests of the two regional powerhouses and other countries in West Asia.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry also extended gratitude towards China, Iraq, and Oman for their roles that helped Iran and Saudi Arabia to restore bilateral ties.

In January 2016, Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran after Iranian protesters, enraged by the execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr by the Saudi government, stormed its embassy in Tehran.

The two sides had held five rounds of negotiations in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad since April 2021.

On Friday, following days of intensive talks in Beijing, Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to resume their diplomatic relations and reopen their embassies and diplomatic missions within the next two months.

In a joint statement issued by Iran, Saudi Arabia, and China, Tehran and Riyadh highlighted the need to respect each others’ national sovereignty and refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of one another.

They agreed to implement a security cooperation agreement signed in April 2001 and another accord reached in May 1998 to boost economic, commercial, investment, technical, scientific, cultural, sports, and youth affairs cooperation.

Saudi National Security Adviser Musaid al-Aiban, who negotiated the agreement with his Iranian counterpart Ali Shamkhani, said that Riyadh “welcomes the initiative of His Excellency President Xi Jinping, based on the Kingdom’s consistent and continuous approach since its establishment in adhering to the principles of good neighborliness.”

He said Saudi Arabia takes “everything that would enhance security and stability in the region and the world,” while “adopting the principle of dialogue and diplomacy to resolve differences.”

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