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Enayati appointed Iran’s new ambassador to Saudi Arabia; Iranian media reports


May 23, 2023
Enayati appointed Iran’s new ambassador to Saudi Arabia;  Iranian media reports


Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — Iran has appointed Alireza Enayati, the director general of the Gulf Affairs Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as the new ambassador to Saudi Arabia, according to the Iranian media.

The Iranian semi-official news agency Fars and Iran judiciary’s news agency Mizan published the report about Enayati’s appointment as Saudi envoy. However, the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has yet to confirm or comment on media reports about Enayati’s new assignment.

Enayati had previously served as Tehran’s ambassador to Kuwait from 2014 to 2019. He previously served as assistant foreign minister of the country.

Enayati, a veteran diplomat who has extensive experience in Gulf affairs, was part of the delegation representing Iran in the rounds of talks with Saudi Arabia held in Iraq and China, to facilitate the resumption of diplomatic relations. Saudi Arabia and Iran signed on March 10 a historic agreement, brokered by China, to re-establish diplomatic relations after a hiatus of seven years of severed ties at the end of tri-patriot talks held in Beijing.

Under the historic deal, the two countries agreed to reopen embassies and consulates in each countries and implement security and economic cooperation agreements that were signed over 20 years ago. Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran in 2016 following an attack by Iranian pro-regime protesters on its embassy in Tehran and consulate in Mashhad.

The news of Enayati’s appointment came a few hours after the Iranian media denied the reports about appointment of Ali Shamkhani as new ambassador to Saudi Arabia, following his dismissal from the post of secretary general of the Supreme National Security Council.

The Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) had reported earlier last month that Enayati was one of the candidates being considered for the post of Iran’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia. It is noteworthy that an Iranian technical delegation visited Saudi Arabia on April 12, in preparation for completing the procedures for the reopening of Tehran’s embassy in Riyadh, and this was about a week after a high-level ministerial meeting.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir Abdollahian met in Beijing in their first official meeting between the two countries’ top diplomatic officials in more than seven years. Ahmadian said then that the announcement about appointment of the new Iranian ambassador to Saudi Arabia will be made in the near future. Earlier this month, Abdollahian said that Saudi Arabia had introduced its new envoy to Tehran and that Iran would soon reciprocate by introducing its new envoy to Riyadh.


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