SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraq welcomes “turning a new page” between Iran and Saudi Arabia, the state news agency (INA) reported after the two countries agreed to re-establish relations after years of hostility.
Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed on Friday to re-establish relations after years of hostility that had threatened stability and security in the Gulf and helped fuel conflicts in the Middle East from Yemen to Syria.
The deal, brokered by China, was announced after four days of previously undisclosed talks in Beijing between top security officials from the two rival Middle East powers.
Tehran and Riyadh agreed to resume diplomatic relations and re-open embassies within two months, according to a statement issued by Iran, Saudi Arabia, and China.
“The agreement includes their affirmation of the respect for the sovereignty of states and the non-interference in internal affairs,” it said.
“The agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran will promote harmony among Islamic countries,” Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Al-Sudani said, according to the INA.
Saudi Arabia cut ties with Iran in 2016 after its embassy in Tehran was stormed during a dispute between the two countries over Riyadh’s execution of a Shi’ite Muslim cleric.
The kingdom also has blamed Iran for missile and drone attacks on its oil facilities in 2019 as well as attacks on tankers in Gulf waters. Iran denied the charges.
Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi movement has also carried out cross-border missile and drone attacks into Saudi Arabia, which leads a coalition fighting the Houthis, and in 2022 extended the strikes to the United Arab Emirates.
Friday’s agreement, signed by Iran’s top security official, Ali Shamkhani, and Saudi Arabian national security adviser Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban, agreed to re-activate a 2001 security cooperation accord, as well as another earlier pact on trade, economy, and investment.