Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development, Mehrdad Bazrpash, announced on Sunday that Saudi authorities have requested the establishment of three weekly flights between the two nations, in addition to Hajj pilgrimage airlifts. This follows the recent agreement to reopen embassies and restore diplomatic relations after a seven-year hiatus, as part of a plan brokered by China in early March.
Bazrpash highlighted the restoration of diplomatic ties between Riyadh and Tehran as a foundation for regional diplomacy and good neighbourliness. He confirmed that the Iranian Civil Aviation Organization will contribute to the reinstatement of flights between the countries, with special flights for Hajj pilgrims agreed upon months earlier.
These developments come as part of the Chinese-brokered agreement to restore diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia. In recent weeks, delegations from both nations have visited each other’s capitals to discuss the reopening of diplomatic missions. Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nasser Kanaani expressed optimism that the Saudi embassy and consulate would reopen in Iran before the May 9 deadline.
The recent agreements are expected to have a positive impact on cooperation in terms of peace, stability, and economic and trade relations between the two countries and within the region. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has accepted an invitation from King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to visit Riyadh, with the visit to be scheduled according to the President’s timetable.
The rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia has reportedly caused frustration for US officials, who feel blindsided by Riyadh’s move towards its rivals Iran and Syria, under the guidance of Washington’s global adversaries.