Iran says rapprochement with Saudi Arabia will help end war in Yemen

Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, at right, shakes hands with Saudi national security adviser Musaad bin Mohammed al-Aiban, at left, as Wang Yi, China's most senior diplomat, looks on, at center, for a photo during a closed meeting held in Beijing, March 11, 2023. (Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua via AP)
Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, at right, shakes hands with Saudi national security adviser Musaad bin Mohammed al-Aiban, at left, as Wang Yi, China's most senior diplomat, looks on, at center, for a photo during a closed meeting held in Beijing, March 11, 2023. (Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua via AP)

Iran’s mission to the United Nations says a breakthrough agreement with Saudi Arabia restoring bilateral relations will help bring a political settlement to Yemen’s yearslong war, according to Iranian state media.

Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed Friday to reestablish diplomatic relations and reopen their embassies after seven years of tensions that brought the two regional powerhouses to the brink of conflict and fueled tensions across the region.

Citing a statement from Iran’s UN mission, IRNA news agency says the deal with Saudi Arabia will accelerate efforts to renew an expired ceasefire deal, “help start a national dialogue, and form an inclusive national government in Yemen.”

The Saudi-backed Yemeni government issues a carefully crafted statement on the deal, expressing some optimism — and caveats.

“The Yemeni government’s position depends on actions and practices not words and claims,” it said, adding it would proceed cautiously “until observing a true change in [Iranian] behavior.”

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