Little over a week after the two nations decided to reestablish diplomatic ties, Iran claims Saudi Arabia has extended an official invitation to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to pay a state visit.

The Saudis have not officially confirmed the invitation, which is claimed to have arrived in a letter from King Salman.

The conflict between the two countries has dominated the Middle East’s recent history.

RELATED STORIES

A senior Iranian official, Mohammad Jamshidi, tweeted regarding the invitation to visit Riyadh, saying Mr Raisi had welcomed it and “stressed Iran’s readiness to expand co-operation.”

Furthermore, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the foreign minister of Iran, informed reporters that the two nations had agreed to conduct a meeting at the level of the foreign ministers and that three potential venues had been suggested.

He did not specify the locations or the potential dates for the meeting.

According to Bloomberg, the recent thaw in bilateral relations, which came as a surprise after days of negotiations mediated by China, appears to be gaining significant pace.

Both have declared they will reopen their embassies and resume their economic and security relations within two months.

With the failure of earlier attempts at reconciliation, many, including the US and the UN, warily welcomed this progress.

In January 2016 after protesters surrounded its embassy in Tehran, Saudi Arabia broke ties.

That came after Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a well-known Shia Muslim cleric who had been found guilty of crimes related to terrorism, was executed by Riyadh.

Since then, there have frequently been high levels of tension between the Sunni- and Shia-led neighbours, with each seeing the other as a dangerous force vying for supremacy in the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

They have taken opposing sides in a number of local conflicts, including as the civil wars in Yemen and Syria.

Mr. Amir-Abdollahian said that Iran hoped measures would be taken to strengthen ties with Bahrain, a close Saudi ally that cut off diplomatic ties with Tehran in 2016 after Riyadh did the same.

“We hope that some obstacles between Iran and Bahrain will be removed and we will take basic steps to reopen the embassies,” he said.

Bahrain hasn’t reacted to the remarks, but it did earlier applaud the Saudi Arabia-Iran decision to reestablish diplomatic ties.

Moreover, Iran has shown a desire to restart or strengthen ties with other adversaries in the Arab world, such as Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.