Reports from the Middle East have stated that Saudi Arabia has initiated attempts at improving the very uneasy relationship between itself and Iran. This uneasiness has been evident between the two nations for a long time, beginning in 1980, when Saudi Arabia backed Iraq in the Iraq-Iran war. As well as this reason, Saudi Arabia is a Sunni ruled country, while Iran is Shiite, creating another sectarian divide. Saudi Arabia is also allied to the United States, who have a poor relations with Iran. On top of this, Saudi Arabia and Iran back different parties in the Syrian Civil War, which has been the cause of most of the tension recently. As stated, the two country have a very strained relationship, so it is big news to hear that they have taken a step forward, in what looks like the Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammed Javad Zarif, visiting Saudi Arabia in the near future.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal was said to have extended the invitation to his Iranian counterpart, and he is hopeful that his invitation will be accepted for the sake of achieving and maintaining the current stability in the region, which is a rarity in the modern history of the Middle East. Iranian spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nowbakht backed up al-Faisal by stating that “Saudi Arabia is a neighbour. Strengthening ties and good neighbourly relations with it is to the interests of the region.”