Saudi investments in Iran could happen ‘quickly’ after deal to restore ties

Riyadh, Mar 15 (EFE).- Saudi investments in Iran could happen “very quickly” following a Chinese-brokered deal for the two foes to restore diplomatic ties, Saudi Arabia’s finance minister said Wednesday.

The agreement struck in China on Friday paves the way for the two regional powerhouses of the Middle East to begin a process of normalizing ties after a seven year rift.

Asked how soon bilateral investments could follow the détente, Mohammed Al-Jadaan said: “When people really stick to the principles of what was agreed, I think that could happen very quickly.

“Our aim and, I think this has been made very clear previously by our leadership, is to have a region that is very stable, that is able to provide for its people and that prospers,” he told the Financial Sector Conference taking place in Riyadh.

“And there is no reason for that not to happen. Iran is our neighbor and has been and will continue to be for hundreds of years.

“So, I don’t see any issue that would prevent the normalization of the relationship, cross-investments, etc., as long as we stick to agreements of respecting sovereign rights, not interfering in others’ affairs, respecting United Nations conventions, and others,” Al-Jadaan added.

The deal between Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran, the leading Sunni and Shia powers in the region respectively, set out a plan for the countries to reopen embassies within two months.

Riyadh and Tehran have long been at odds when it comes to exerting influence in the region, with both backing opposing sides in conflicts across the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran seven years ago after protesters in Tehran assaulted the Saudi embassy following Riyadh’s execution of prominent Saudi Shia sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr.EFE


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