Tehran, Iran (AP) —Three Iranian diplomats representing Tehran of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation have arrived in Saudi Arabia, state television reported Monday.
According to the report, diplomats arrived a few days ago, the first time Saudi Arabia has accepted diplomats from Iran since 2016. Saudi Arabia cut off its ties with the Islamic Republic after Iran’s hardliners attacked Iran’s Saudi diplomatic mission.
This development reflects the possibility of improving relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia and exchanging diplomats. Jeddah is a permanent venue for an organization of 57 members.
Saeed Khatibzadeh, a spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, told reporters that Iran is currently focusing on reopening the OIC office with three diplomats. Iran has long told Riyadh that it is ready to reopen the embassy.
In recent months, neighboring Iraq has hosted talks between the two Arab countries with the aim of normalizing relations.
Regional rivals stand by opposition parties throughout the Middle East, including war-torn Yemen and Syria.
Saudi Arabia is also concerned about Iran’s nuclear ballistic missile program. Iran states that the nuclear program has a peaceful purpose and that its missile program is simply defensive.