Following 7-year rift, Iran, Saudi Arabia mend relations in China- brokered dealtext_fields
Tehran: Rival nations in the Middle East, Iran and Saudi Arabia, have decided to restore their strained diplomatic ties seven years after they were severed in a bitter dispute.
Following four days of negotiations in China between representatives from both sides, the unexpected announcement was made.
Protesters broke into its embassy in Tehran after Riyadh executed a famous Shia Muslim cleric prompting Saudi Arabia to sever relations in January 2016.
Since then, tensions between the neighbours headed by Shia and Sunnis have frequently been high.
They view one another as an aggressive force vying for supremacy in the area. Additionally, they back opposing groups all over the Middle East, most notably in Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq.
Saudi Arabia has been conducting a devastating bombing campaign against the Houthis since the following year, while Iran aided Shia Houthi rebels who overthrew the Saudi-backed government in 2014.
Iran has also been charged by Saudi Arabia with aiding the Houthis' assault.
Drones and missiles attacked important Saudi oil facilities in 2019, in the most severe incident of its kind, causing damage and disrupting production. Although Saudi Arabia and its US ally claimed they were responsible, Iran denied being behind the assault.
Although previous efforts at reconciliation have failed, the two nations announced on Friday that their embassies would reopen in two months. They will also re-establish commerce and security ties.
The news was cautiously greeted in the US. According to John Kirby, spokesman for the White House National Security Council, the administration was in favour of "any effort to de-escalate tensions in the region". But he continued, "It really does remain to be seen if Iran is going to meet their obligations."
Antonio Guterres, the head of the UN, praised China for facilitating the deal.
The secretary-general is ready to help efforts "to ensure durable peace and security in the Gulf region", his spokesman said.
Israel, which has demanded that Iran be subjected to the greatest amount of pressure regarding its nuclear program, has not responded.