Economy Minister Ehsan Khandouzi (Undated)

Economy Minister Ehsan Khandouzi 

First Iranian Minister Visits Saudi Arabia After China-Brokered Deal

Thursday, 05/11/2023

A senior Iranian official visited Saudi Arabia for the first time since Riyadh and Tehran agreed to resume diplomatic relations.

Economy Minister Ehsan Khandouzi led an economic delegation to Jeddah, holding bilateral meetings with Saudi officials and talks with the Islamic Development Bank during his stay.

Saudi government officials, Islamic Development Bank officers, and Iranian consulate staff welcomed him at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah.

In March, a China-brokered agreement restored diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and Khandouzi is the first Iranian official to visit Saudi Arabia since then.

After pro-regime protesters attacked Saudi Arabia's embassy in Tehran and consulate in Mashhad in 2016, Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran.

According to Iran's state news agency IRNA, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said Saudi Arabia had introduced its new envoy to Tehran, and Iran will "soon" introduce its new envoy to Riyadh.

Farzad Piltan, West Asia director at Iran's Trade Promotion Organization, said that the country was eyeing $1 billion in trade with Saudi Arabia, which could be expanded to $2 billion with a focus on steel, saffron, carpets, cement, dried fruit, and so on.

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