Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed al Jadaan said on Wednesday, that Saudi investments may enter Iran very quickly after the agreement to resume diplomatic relations.
He added during the financial sector conference in Riyadh, “There are many opportunities for Saudi investments in Iran… We see no obstacles as long as the terms of any agreement are respected”.
Following talks hosted by China, Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed on Friday to resume relations and reopen embassies within two months after years of estrangement.
“Stability in the region is very important to the world and the countries of the region, and we always say that Iran is our neighbor and we have no interest in conflict with our neighbors if they are willing to cooperate,” al Jadaan said in an interview with Reuters.
The rivalry between the two great powers in the Middle East has endangered stability and security in the region and helped fuel regional conflicts, including in Yemen, Syria and Lebanon.
The Saudi Finance Minister said, “There’s no reason for us not to invest in Iran, and there’s no reason for us not to allow them to invest in Saudi Arabia… It’s in our interest to ensure that both countries benefit from each other’s resources and competitive advantage”.
He went on to say that “If the Iranians are willing to go through this process, we are more than willing to go through this process and show that they are welcome and we will be more than happy to participate in their development”.
The Chinese-brokered deal was announced after four days of unannounced talks in Beijing between top security officials in Saudi Arabia and Iran.
A Saudi official told reporters on Wednesday that China has influence over Iran and Tehran will find it difficult to provide an explanation if it doesn’t honor the agreement signed with Saudi Arabia in Beijing.
The official, who asked not to be named, said that China has a unique position because it has exceptional relations with Iran and Saudi Arabia.
“China is the number one trading partner of both countries, so the ability to influence is very important, and since we are building trust, this commitment must be made in the presence of Chinese officials,” he said.
Saudi Arabia severed relations with Iran in 2016 after storming its embassy in Tehran, amid a dispute between the two countries over the execution of a prominent Shiite cleric in the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia also held Iran responsible for missile and drone attacks on oil facilities in the Kingdom in 2019, as well as attacks on tankers in the Gulf waters, as Iran denied the accusations.
The Saudi official said, without going into details, that the most difficult issues in the talks with Iran were related to Yemen, the media and the role of China.
The two countries agreed to reactivate a security cooperation agreement dating back to 2001 that includes cooperation in combating drugs, smuggling and organized crime, in addition to another previous agreement on trade, economy and investment.
“The resumption of diplomatic relations does not mean that we are allies… Diplomatic relations are the norm for the kingdom and we must establish them with everyone,” the Saudi official concluded.