Iran says 'too early' to talk of Tehran, Riyadh reopening embassies

Iran says 'too early' to talk of Tehran, Riyadh reopening embassies
1 min read
The two regional rivals have been engaged in talks to improve their mutual relations.
Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said it was too early to fully restore diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia. [ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty]

It would be premature for Iran and Saudi Arabia to speak of reopening their embassies in each other's capitals, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday, amid rounds of talks between the regional rivals on improving ties.

"It is too early to talk about the reopening of embassies by Tehran and Riyadh," 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. 

Predominantly Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran, which are locked in proxy conflicts across the Middle East, started direct talks last year to try to contain tensions.

Riyadh severed ties with Tehran in 2016 after Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in the Iranian capital following the execution of a Shia cleric in Saudi Arabia.