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Saudi Foreign Minister Visits Iran in ‘Landmark’ for Thawing Relations

A handout photo made available by the Iranian Presidency shows Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (R) greeting Saudi Foreign Minister Feisal Bin Farhan (L) during a meeting in Tehran on Saturday. Photo by EPA-EFE
A handout photo made available by the Iranian Presidency shows Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (R) greeting Saudi Foreign Minister Feisal Bin Farhan (L) during a meeting in Tehran on Saturday. Photo by EPA-EFE

Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan arrived in Tehran on Saturday for a visit hailed by Iran as a “landmark” for the thawing of relations between the two nations.

The two countries agreed in March to normalize their diplomatic relations, which had been frozen since 2016 after Iranian protestors attacked Saudi diplomatic missions and Saudi Arabia executed a top Shia cleric.

Farhan’s arrival on Saturday capped a series of three meetings with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, the first two of which were held in third countries. The latest meeting in Tehran, however, marked the first time the top diplomats of Iran and Saudi Arabia have met in either of their capitals after seven years of no formal ties.

Farhan said he and his Iranian counterpart engaged in “positive and clear talks” regarding the resumption of diplomatic relations, according to official media

The semi-official Tasnim News Agency reported that in the 100 days since the resumption of diplomatic relations, Saudi Arabia has rented an entire story of a luxury hotel in Tehran to handle the increased activity.

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