Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin SalmanREUTERS

Saudi Arabia and Iran have agreed to restore diplomatic ties, Iran announced Friday afternoon.

The two countries will reopen their embassies in Riyadh and Tehran within 60 days, Iranian media reported, claiming that the deal was reached during a recent meeting in China.

The Islamic Republic and the Saudi kingdom have not had formal diplomatic ties after an attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran and a Saudi consulate in Mashhad, prompting Saudi Arabia to expel Iran's mission in Riyadh. The attacks in Tehran and Mashhad came in response to the execution of a prominent Shi'ite cleric in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi government has not confirmed Iran's announcement.

Riyadh and Tehran have been in talks aimed at restoring diplomatic relations for years, with Iran claiming the two were on the cusp of an agreement in October 2021.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called the announcement a victory for Iran.

"This is a terrible blow to the effort to build a regional coalition against Iran. It is a total defeat for the Netanyahu government, caused by a combination of political neglect and economic weakness and internal struggles inside Israel. The nations of the world and the region see Israel as divided, with a government that is not functioning and is focused on systematic self-destruction. And these same countries are choosing a side."

"The Netanyahu government is an economic failure, a political and security failure, and every day its activities endanger the state of Israel. We need an emergency national unity government which will work to fix the damages caused [by the current government]."