Iran: Saudi Arabia detente to positively affect our ties with Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain

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Days after regional heavyweight Saudi Arabia agreed to normalize ties with Iran, Tehran says it has set its sights on Cairo, Amman and Manama next.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said on Monday the resumption of diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia will have a “positive effect” on Tehran’s ties with regional neighboring Arab countries Egypt, Jordan and Bahrain.

“Fortunately, with the positive atmosphere that we are witnessing in the region, this positive development can happen in connection with other regional countries as well, including Bahrain. We should further trust the path of diplomacy and take steps in this direction,” state news agency IRNA quoted Kanaani as saying.

He added: “Egypt is an important country, and the two countries value each other’s importance in the region. The region needs the positive capacities of both Tehran and Cairo.”

“Political ties between Iran and Jordan have not been abandoned in recent years,” he said, adding that Tehran was ready to expand and further develop its ties with Amman.

These statements follow Saudi Arabia and Iran’s announcement on Friday of a landmark agreement brokered by China to re-establish diplomatic ties and reopen embassies after seven years of heightened tensions, backing opposing sides in regional conflicts and supporting differing parties in political rows across the Middle East.

While Amman currently maintains diplomatic ties with Tehran, their complex and rocky relationship has been strained for decades since the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s; and saw ambassadors being summoned in protest and recalled, and ties being severed completely and then restored. In present day, Jordan and Iran have contrary approaches to many regional flashpoint issues such as Syria and Israel.

Bahrain had cut ties with Iran back in 2016, in support of and solidarity with Saudi Arabia after its embassy was attacked in Tehran and the Kingdom subsequently severed all diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic. Manama has also long accused Tehran of stoking unrest among its people, a charge the latter denies.

As for Egypt, its ties with Iran have been severed ever since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

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