Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Iran’s foreign minister, said on Thursday that Saudi Arabia had agreed to grant three visas to Iranian diplomats, implying that progress had been made in talks aimed at repairing the two countries’ ties.
The diplomats will serve as representatives to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which is based in the Saudi Arabian coastal city of Jeddah and consists of 57 Islamic nations.
Saudi Arabia suspended ties with Iran in 2016 after its embassy in Tehran was ransacked and set on fire in retaliation for the killing of a prominent Shia preacher by the country.
Tensions between the two powers have erupted throughout the region, with proxies fighting in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen.
The Gulf Kingdom’s influence in Lebanon has gradually diminished as Iran-backed Hezbollah has tightened its grip on the government, which is grappling with the country’s economic collapse.
Since April, Baghdad has been organizing discussions between the two nations in an effort to de-escalate tensions.
Concerns about the US’ regional interests and delayed efforts to renew the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran have prompted a flurry of diplomatic action.
On Thursday, Amir-Abdollahian told reporters that talks with Riyadh had gone well, and that the diplomats’ travel permits had been obtained last week. He went on to say that a fresh series of discussions will start soon, with plans being prepared for “next steps in the talks.”