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Iran, Saudi Arabia agree to resume ties: media reports

Iran says it has reached a deal with Saudi Arabia to resume diplomatic relations and reopen embassies in the two countries after years of tensions.

The kingdom did not immediately acknowledge any agreement.

Iranian state television reported the deal, saying it came during a meeting in China.

Chinese state media did not report on any such deal although it would represent a diplomatic achievement for China amid its ceremonial National People's Congress this week.

Iranian state media posted images and video it described as being taken in China with the meeting.

It showed Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, with a Saudi official and a Chinese official that state TV named as Wang Yi.

"After implementing of the decision, the foreign ministers of the both countries will meet to prepare for exchange of ambassadors," Iranian state television said.

It added that the talks had been held over four days.

Saudi Arabian officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Saudi-owned satellite news channel al-Arabiya, citing Iranian media, began reporting the news later on Friday afternoon.

Tensions have been high between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

The kingdom broke off ties with Iran in 2016 after protesters invaded Saudi diplomatic posts there.

Saudi Arabia days earlier had executed a prominent Shi'ite cleric, triggering the demonstrations.

In the years since, tensions have risen dramatically across the Middle East since the United States unilaterally withdrew from Iran's nuclear deal with world powers in 2018.

Iran has been blamed for a series of attacks in the time since, including one that targeted the heart of Saudi Arabia's oil industry in 2019 that temporarily halved the kingdom's oil production.