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Saudi finance minister says country could invest in Iran ‘quickly’

Some in Israel are calling the agreement a setback toward “efforts to build a regional coalition against Iran”

Saudi Minister of Finance Mohammed Bin Abdullah al-Jadaan attends the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, July 15, 2022. (Photo: Made Nagi/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo)

Saudi Arabia’s finance minister said on Thursday that Saudi investments in Iran may begin again soon, following the resumption of diplomatic ties between the two countries. 

“There are a lot of opportunities for Saudi investments in Iran. We don’t see impediments, as long as the terms of any agreement would be respected,” said Saudi's Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan.

On Friday, the two nations announced a Chinese-led rapprochement following years of hostility after Saudi Arabia executed a prominent Shiite cleric and following the subsequent storming of the Saudi embassy in Tehran.

Saudi Arabia has blamed Iran for missile and drone attacks on some of its oil tankers and facilities.

“Stability in the region is very important for the world and for the countries in the region, and we have always said that Iran is our neighbor and we have no interest to have a conflict with our neighbors, if they are willing to cooperate,” al-Jadaan said in a Reuter's interview.

The two countries have agreed to re-open embassies within two months. 

While the U.S. administration has expressed its support for the rapprochement, some see the agreement as a sign of U.S. weakness in the region, calling it a setback in “efforts to build a regional coalition against Iran.” 

Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called the Iranian-Saudi agreement an indication of “political neglect and economic weakness, and internal struggles inside Israel.” 

Nevertheless, Israel’s Ambassador to Bahrain Eitan Na’eh said on Tuesday, “I am not yet ready to start eulogizing Israel-Gulf relations.” 

Na’eh also downplayed the idea that tensions between the two countries only started in 2016, saying, “There is a history.”

Others were quick to point out the rapprochement is quite limited in its scope.

“Resuming diplomatic relations does not mean we are allies… Diplomatic relations are the norm for Saudi Arabia, and we should have them with everybody,” an unnamed official said.

The Iranian-Saudi rapprochement did not cover longstanding issues of contention, such as Iranian expansion and aggression in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen or Iraq. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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