Why Iranian president is visiting Saudi Arabia

Iran’s president will travel to Saudi Arabia next Sunday, according to reports.

Ebrahim Raisi will take part in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation summit, Iranian website Etemad reported.

The OIC is an organisation with 57 member states that refers to itself as the “collective voice of the Muslim world”.

Over the past year, Iran and Saudi Arabia have been re-establishing relations after years of hostility that endangered regional stability in the Gulf, as well as in Yemen, Syria and Lebanon.

Saudi Arabia broke ties with Iran in 2016 after protesters attacked its embassy in Tehran in retaliation for Saudi Arabia’s execution of a prominent Shiite cleric.

The kingdom also blamed Iran for missile and drone attacks on its oil facilities in 2019 as well as attacks on tankers in Gulf waters – charges Iran denied.

But in June, Iran officially reopened its embassy in Saudi Arabia after China brokered a deal to resume diplomatic relations and agree on a policy of non-interference in each nation’s internal affairs.

Foreign ministers from both countries met in August, with Iran’s Hossein Amirabdollahian saying the pair were making progress on mending ties. 

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