Iranian diplomatic representation at the OIC meeting for the first time...


Posted in: 23/01/2022 – 15:14

                For the first time since the severing of relations between regional rivals Tehran and Riyadh in early 2016, Iranian diplomats participated on Sunday in the meetings of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Saudi Arabia.  The two countries had started dialogue sessions in Baghdad aimed at improving relations.  Four sessions were held between April and September, with Tehran confirming that a fifth round would be subject to Riyadh's "seriousness".                

Diplomats attended Iranians Sunday in Jeddah to participate in the meetings of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Saudi ArabiaFor the first time since the severing of relations between regional rivals Tehran and Riyadh in early 2016, two officials in the organization told AFP.

Last week, Iranian diplomats arrived in the Saudi city of Jeddah to represent their country in the 57-country organization.

An official in the organization, who asked not to be named, said that the diplomats participated in the senior staff meeting preparatory to the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the members of the organization, which is hosted by Pakistan in Islamabad on March 22, 2022.

He stressed that “it is the first meeting they have participated in since their return to Jeddah last week.” A second official in the organization confirmed the Iranian delegation’s participation in the meeting.

The official, who also asked not to be named, explained that “the diplomats work from the headquarters of the temporary delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Jeddah,” explaining that it is an entity independent of the Iranian consulate in Jeddah.

And last year, the two countries began holding dialogue sessions in Baghdad with the aim of improving relations. Four sessions were held between April and September, with Tehran confirming that a fifth round would be subject to Riyadh’s “seriousness”.

And Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian confirmed in December that the kingdom had agreed to grant entry visas to three diplomats accredited to the organization, in a move that comes amid discussions that the two regional rivals began months ago in an effort to improve their severed relations.

And last week, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh reiterated his country’s readiness to “reopen its embassy” in Saudi Arabia, noting that achieving this is also linked to “steps” from Riyadh.

quarrels

Saudi Arabia cut ties with Iran in January 2016, after its embassy in Tehran and its consulate in Mashhad were attacked by protesters over the execution of the Saudi Shiite cleric, Nimr al-Nimr.

These attacks were condemned by the foreign ministers who are members of the organization.

The Islamic Republic and Saudi Arabia are the two most prominent regional powers in the Gulf, and they are on opposite sides in most regional files, most notably the conflict in Yemen, where Riyadh leads a military coalition in support of the internationally recognized government, and accuses Tehran of supporting the Houthi rebels who control large areas in the north of the country, most notably Sanaa. .

Likewise, Saudi Arabia, an ally of the United States, the archenemy of the Islamic Republic, expresses its concern about Iran’s regional influence and accuses it of “interfering” in Arab countries such as Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, and is suspicious of its nuclear program and missile capabilities.

FRANCE 24/AFP

            




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