As talks to save the Iran nuclear agreement, Tehran has taken a flurry of steps to improve its relationship with several Arab Gulf states. Iran has already reestablished diplomatic ties with the UAE and Kuwait. Next, Tehran seeks to reengage in talks with Riyadh.
In recent months, European Union diplomats have made a final push to get the US and Iran to return to compliance with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). On Monday, Reuters reported Iran had dropped two crucial demands, and saving the nuclear deal is now close.
As talks progressed in recent weeks, Kuwait announced it appointed its first ambassador to Iran since 2016. Kuwait and the UAE cut ties with Tehran six years ago in solidarity with Riyadh. Abu Dhabi has quietly taken steps to establish a normal relationship with Tehran.
The improved atmosphere in the Gulf has created a more optimistic outlook in Tehran. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said on Monday that the regional climate is strengthening optimism over resuming diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia.
In addition to diplomatic engagement, Riyadh and Tehran could undertake joint economic projects. Iran began operations at a shared oil field with Saudi Arabia. However, OilPrice.com reports Iran is currently undertaking the project alone because of US sanctions. A return to compliance with the JCPOA could see sanctions lifted and Iran be along to cooperate with other states in its oil development projects.