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Iran has named an ambassador to Saudi Arabia, state media reported Wednesday, sealing a thaw in relations more than seven years after the regional rivals severed ties.

The new envoy, Alireza Enayati, previously served as Iran’s ambassador to Kuwait, assistant to the foreign minister and director general of Gulf affairs at the foreign ministry, the English-language Iran Daily said.

There was no immediate confirmation of his appointment from the foreign ministry of the Islamic republic.

The Middle East heavyweights, after years of discord, signed a surprise reconciliation agreement in China on March 10.

Iran, Saudi Arabia to restore ties in China-brokered deal

Saudi Arabia had severed relations with Iran in 2016, after its embassy in Tehran and consulate in the second city of Mashhad were attacked during protests over the kingdom’s execution of Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr.

The two governments held several rounds of dialogue in Iraq and Oman before signing the reconciliation agreement.

They had backed opposing sides in conflict zones across the Middle East for years before mending fences.

In Yemen, Saudi Arabia has led a military coalition in support of the internationally recognised government, while Iran backed the Houthi rebels who control the capital Sanaa and large areas of the north.

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