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Iran names ambassador to Saudi after seven-year gap

Iran has appointed an ambassador to Saudi Arabia, marking a significant milestone in the restoration of ties between the two regional rivals, as reported by state media on Wednesday. This
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Iran names ambassador to Saudi after seven-year gap

Iran has appointed an ambassador to Saudi Arabia, marking a significant milestone in the restoration of ties between the two regional rivals, as reported by state media on Wednesday. This development comes after more than seven years of severed diplomatic relations.

The newly named envoy, Alireza Enayati, has a notable background in Iranian diplomacy, having previously served as Iran’s ambassador to Kuwait, assistant to the foreign minister, and director general of Gulf affairs at the foreign ministry, according to Iran Daily, an English-language publication. However, there has been no immediate confirmation of his appointment from Iran’s foreign ministry.

The reconciliation between these Middle Eastern powerhouses was sealed with a surprising agreement signed in China on March 10, ending years of discord. The rupture in relations occurred in 2016 when Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran after its embassy in Tehran and consulate in Mashhad were attacked during protests against the execution of Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr.

Since then, the two governments have engaged in multiple rounds of dialogue facilitated by Iraq and Oman, leading to the signing of the reconciliation agreement. Previously, they had supported opposing factions in various Middle Eastern conflict zones. Saudi Arabia has led a military coalition in Yemen, backing the internationally recognized government, while Iran has supported the Houthi rebels who control the capital city of Sanaa and significant parts of the north.

The appointment of an ambassador to Saudi Arabia by Iran signifies a major step towards normalizing diplomatic relations and fostering a more constructive engagement between the two nations. It has the potential to reshape the regional dynamics in the Middle East and open avenues for further dialogue and cooperation on critical regional issues.

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