Saudi finance minister: KSA could invest in Iran 'very quickly'
Saudi Arabia could start making investments in Iran "very quickly" after they agreed to restore diplomatic ties, the Saudi finance minister said on Wednesday, despite sweeping US sanctions against the Islamic republic.
Mohammed Al-Jadaan said there were "a lot of opportunities" in Iran and that he couldn't see any reason to prevent investments taking place between the two Gulf heavyweights.
"I would say quickly," he told the Financial Sector Conference in Riyadh, when asked how soon Saudi Arabia could start making "significant" investments in Iran.
"When people really stick to the principles of what was agreed, I think that that could happen very quickly."
In a surprise, Chinese-brokered announcement on Friday, Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed to work towards restoring ties and reopening diplomatic missions within two months.
The oil-rich rivals, who are on opposing sides in conflicts across the Middle East, severed relations in 2016 after Saudi's execution of a Shiite cleric triggered violent protests.
Iran has been under renewed US sanctions since then president Donald Trump abandoned a landmark nuclear agreement between Tehran and major powers in 2018. Saudi Arabia, a longtime US ally, has said it supports the sanctions, which target key areas, including oil.
But Al-Jadaan said: "There is no reason for (investments) not to happen. I mean, Iran is our neighbor and has been and will continue to be for hundreds of years.
"So I don't see any issue that would prevent the normalization of the relationship across investments... as long as we stick to the agreement, you know, respecting sovereign rights, not interfering in other affairs."
He added: "I think that there are a lot of opportunities in Iran, and we provide a lot of opportunities for them."
Interesting! In Europe, France and Germany fought each other for hundreds of years resulting in horrific destruction and millions of casualties. Once they both joined the European Union (EU) and became their top economic partners; they became best friends, more prosperous with integrated economies and policies. In fact they form the foundation of the EU. In wars, there is a winner and a loser (often 2 losers). In economic union there is only winners and economic integration makes wars impossible. That is why Gebran_sons for the past 20 years have called for a regional vision MEPEC (Middle East Political and Economic Community) that includes all countries including Iran, Israel and a Palestinian State. This will occur in stages (3 separate unions first that will join into MEPEC after 10 years), and will usher the Golden Age of the Middle East. If Germany & France joined a regional union after centuries of enmity, we can too!