Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif travelled to Riyadh as Iran’s representative at the funeral of Malek Abdullah, the Saudi king who passed away this week.
The Mehr News Agency reports that Zarif, who was in Davos, Switzerland attending the World Economic Forum, departed for Saudi Arabia on Saturday January 24. This is the first trip to Saudi Arabia by Hassan Rohani’s foreign minister.
Last May, the Saudi foreign minister invited his Iranian counterpart to travel to Saudi Arabia; however, the trip was cancelled after the Saudi foreign minister said Iran must get out of Syria.
Zairf’s Saudi trip comes unexpectedly following the death of the monarch.
Iran and Saudi Arabia have always had contentious diplomatic relations. Saudi Arabia, a predominantly Sunni country, has accused Iran of supporting Shia forces in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
In turn, Iran accuses Saudis of supporting extremist forces in these countries.