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Saudi Arabia to establish shipping route with Iran

Iranian ambassador Alireza Enayati met with the President of the Federation of Saudi Chambers, Hassan bin Mujab Al-Huwaizi, in Riyadh in January SPA
Iranian ambassador Alireza Enayati met with the President of the Federation of Saudi Chambers, Hassan bin Mujab Al-Huwaizi, in Riyadh in January
  • Link from Dammam port
  • Trade discussed at Davos
  • Ambassador exchange in 2023

Saudi Arabia is planning to establish shipping links between Dammam on the Gulf coast and the Iranian port of Bandar Kangan, an Iranian official said this week, following the resumption of diplomatic ties between the two countries last year. 

The Iranian port, which lies across from Dammam in the Gulf, is currently undergoing renovations to enable large vessels to dock.

Iran also intends to build an industrial zone at the port for oil, gas and petrochemical industries, the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) said, citing Bushehr governor Ahmad Mohammadizadeh. 

Trade through the Bandar Kangan port with Qatar has already risen by 30 percent year on year, IRNA said. 

Saudi Arabia and Iran exchanged ambassadors last year after Riyadh cut diplomatic ties in 2016 in response to attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran after the execution in Saudi Arabia of a prominent Shi’ite cleric. 

This month, Iran’s ambassador Alireza Enayati discussed trade ties with the head of the Federation of Saudi Chambers, and the two countries’ foreign ministers held talks during the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos on January 18. 

Saudi Arabia’s total foreign trade was around $601.1 billion in 2022, while Iran’s was $132.6 billion, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said this month. 

“This situation calls for enhancing cooperation to develop intra-regional trade,” the SPA report said. 

Senior officials from Iran’s central bank visited Riyadh late last year to discuss resuming banking relations. Regular direct flights have yet to restart, which would help pilgrims travel between the two countries.

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