Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has welcomed an invitation from Saudi King Salman to visit Riyadh following a China-brokered normalization deal between the two countries.
Mohammad Jamshidi, the Iranian president’s deputy chief of staff for political affairs, wrote on Twitter that Salman wrote a letter to Raisi welcoming the normalization agreement and “invited him to make an official visit to Riyadh and called for the strengthening economic and regional cooperation.”
“The president welcomed this invitation and emphasized Iran’s readiness to enhance cooperation,” he said.
Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to reopen embassies and establish full diplomatic relations for the first time since 2016 within two months of signing the agreement. Iranian and Saudi officials have signaled that they intend to take other steps to solidify ties, including Saudi investments in Iran.
The Iran-Saudi deal has the potential to significantly ease regional tensions. The UN envoy for Yemen has said there is renewed momentum toward ending the war in Yemen in the wake of the Iran-Saudi rapprochement. Saudi Arabia and Yemen’s Houthis have been engaged in Omani-mediated peace talks.
According to some media reports, Iran agreed to stop arming the Houthis as part of the deal with Saudi Arabia, although Tehran has always denied accusations that they send weapons to the group. Iran is a political ally of the Houthis and likely provides some material support, but not nearly as much as the US has provided the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.