Saudi Arabia, Iran to strengthen economic ties despite political differences: Tehran

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Saudi Arabia and Iran have agreed to bolster economic ties despite lingering political disagreements, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said.

“The agreement with my Saudi counterpart [Prince Faisal bin Farhan] is that at this stage, we should strengthen the commercial, economic and investment cooperation between the two countries despite having different political views in some areas,” Amir-Abdollahian said in an interview with Iranian state TV on Tuesday.

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Tehran wants a “stable economic cooperation that will lead to economic prosperity on both sides,” he said, adding that such collaborative efforts “will help the stability” of the rapprochement process with Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia and Iran announced in March that they had reached an agreement, brokered by China, to reestablish diplomatic relations after seven years of no formal ties.

Under the deal signed in March, Riyadh and Tehran agreed to reopen embassies and consulates in each other’s territories and implement security and economic cooperation agreements that were signed over 20 years ago.

Amir-Abdollahian said that Iran’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia will be heading to Riyadh “in the coming days.”

Iran reopened its embassy in Riyadh last month. The timeline for the reopening of the Saudi embassy in Tehran remains unclear.

Amir-Abdollahian expressed his satisfaction with this year’s Hajj pilgrimage, noting that any “minor issues” that arose were swiftly resolved through direct communication with Prince Faisal. Amir-Abdollahian did not elaborate on the nature of the issues.

Last month, Prince Faisal made a landmark visit to Tehran, where he met with Amir-Abdollahian and President Ebrahim Raisi.

Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran in 2016 following an attack by pro-regime protesters on its embassy in Tehran and consulate in Mashhad.

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