President Ebrahim Raisi accepts invitation to visit Saudi Arabia

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi has accepted an invitation to visit Saudi Arabia, according to a statement made by First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber on Monday. This marks Raisi’s first official trip to the kingdom, and the move is seen as a positive step in the ongoing efforts towards reconciliation between the two countries.

The Chinese-brokered deal that led to the resumption of diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia after years of hostility is seen as a significant step towards improving ties between the two states. Under the agreement, Iran and Saudi Arabia are due to reopen their embassies and consulates within the next two months.

During a meeting between Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, and his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amirabdollahian, the two countries are expected to discuss ways to strengthen the renewed relations, including arrangements for the exchange of ambassadors.

Experts predict that the renewed relations will reshape the region’s geopolitics that have been dominated by conflict and turbulence for years. This is a positive sign of progress in the ongoing efforts towards regional cooperation and the enhancement of relations with neighbouring states, as a top priority of the Raisi administration.

The Saudi-Iranian rivalry has been one of the most enduring and intractable conflicts in the Middle East, fuelled by a range of political, ideological, and sectarian factors. The two countries have been locked in a struggle for regional dominance for decades, and the situation has been complicated by the involvement of external powers such as the United States and Russia.

The Chinese-brokered deal to restore diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia was seen as a significant breakthrough in efforts to reduce tensions in the region. The agreement has been welcomed by many in the international community, who see it as a positive sign of progress towards a degree of peace and stability in the Middle East.

Image Credit: Iranian Presidency Office via AP