As soon as there is a change of power in Iran, the new government led by Ibrahim Raisi is going to take a big diplomatic step on the very first day. This decision of Iran can change the geopolitical situation in the entire Middle East. After breaking diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia for five years, Iran on Sunday announced to send its ambassador to Riyadh again. However, Saudi has not yet given formal approval for this. Iran is a very Shia country, which has disputes with the staunch Sunni country Saudi Arabia on many issues.
Iran to restore diplomatic relations with Saudi
Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said during a speech at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum that Tehran is ready to send its ambassador to Saudi Arabia tomorrow. He said Iran needed a green signal from Riyadh to do so. Iran’s foreign minister said that in his view it was possible to restore Iran’s ties with Saudi Arabia.
Iran and Saudi met three times in Baghdad
Zarif said Iran had held three rounds of talks with Saudi Arabia in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. It was only after this that the decision was taken to send the ambassador back. Meanwhile, the victory of radical Ibrahim Raisi in Iran’s presidential election this evening has made this announcement even bigger. Zarif said Iran would further strengthen ties with its neighbors after Raisi’s victory. Zarif assured that Iran’s foreign policy of reconciliation with regional powers would remain in place, despite the arrival of a new president.
How relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia deteriorated
Relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia have been strained for a long time. Saudi Arabia claims to be the leader of Sunni Muslims all over the world. At the same time, Iran claims to be the messiah of Shia Muslims. Iran has the largest number of Shia Muslims in the world. This is the reason that despite being neighbors, there is always a conflict between the two countries. In 2016, Saudi Arabia arrested and killed Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr for alleged attempts to illegally interfere in domestic affairs.
Both countries called back their ambassadors
This resulted in protests against Saudi Arabia across Iran. Angry mob attacked Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Tehran. The miscreants threw petrol bombs and set the Saudi embassy on fire. In response, Saudi Arabia summoned Iranian officials, accusing them of negligence in the security of its diplomatic mission. Not only this, the angry Saudi closed its embassy in Tehran and called back all the employees. Tehran also withdrew its ambassador from Riyadh in retaliation.
[Attribution to NBT]