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Newsline: Iran says ‘too early’ to talk of Tehran, Riyadh reopening embassies

It would be premature to speak of Iran and Saudi Arabia reopening embassies in each other’s capitals, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesperson said on Monday, after five rounds of talks since last year between the rivals on improving ties. “It is too early to talk about the reopening of embassies by Tehran and Riyadh,” the spokesperson, Saeed Khatibzadeh, told a televised news conference when asked whether the travel of Iranian Haj pilgrims to Saudi Arabia could signal a restoration of diplomatic relations. (https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/iran-says-too-early-talk-tehran-riyadh-reopening-embassies-2022-06-20/) Predominantly Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shi’ite Iran, which are locked in proxy conflicts across the Middle East, started direct talks last year to try to contain tensions. In April, the two held the fifth round of their negotiations in Iraq. Riyadh severed ties with Tehran in 2016 after Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in the Iranian capital following the execution of a Shi’ite cleric in Saudi Arabia.

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