Iran appoints ambassador for Saudi Arabia as tense relations thaw

Tehran, May 23, (dpa/GNA) – Iran has appointed an ambassador to Saudi Arabia as part of a rapprochement between the two countries after years of rivalry, according to local media.

The diplomat Alireza Enajati is to start work in the Saudi capital Riyadh in future, Iran’s Shargh newspaper reported on Tuesday. Enajati most recently worked as director-general for the Gulf region in the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

Embassies in each other’s countries are now expected to start operating soon.

The move is the first step towards resuming bilateral relations between the two countries after seven years of diplomatic iciness, which saw both countries vying for political and military influence in the region.

A warming of ties could lead to some major regional shifts, notably in Yemen, where Iran and Saudi Arabia support rival sides in the years-long civil war that has led to famine and left tens of thousands dead.