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Saudi team to visit Tehran; first time after ruptured ties

Tehran, Sep 3 (IANS) A Saudi Arabian delegation will visit Iran for the first time after Riyadh severed ties with Tehran last year, Iran’s Foreign Ministry confirmed on Sunday.

“The Saudi delegation simply comes to visit diplomatic buildings because the buildings have been empty after the two countries broke off relations. At the same time, we will visit our buildings in Saudi Arabia,” Press TV quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi as saying.

Qasemi confirmed that the visas for the Saudis have been issued long before, but for “reasons that are related to them, they have not come yet, and their travel has likely been postponed until after (annual Muslim) Hajj ceremonies”, Xinhua news agency reported.

He added that the date for the Iranian delegation’s visit has not been set yet.

Saudi Arabia severed its diplomatic relations with Iran in January 2016, following demonstrations held in front of the Saudi embassy in Tehran and its consulate in the city of Mashhad by angry protesters who set the diplomatic missions ablaze for the execution of top Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr by Saudi Arabia.

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