Saudi Arabia and Iran have had strained relations for several years, marked by political, religious, and regional tensions, as well as proxy conflicts in Yemen, Syria, and other parts of the Middle East.
However, there have been some signs of tentative rapprochement in recent years. For example, in April 2021, it was reported that Saudi and Iranian officials had held talks in Baghdad, mediated by Iraq, in an effort to improve relations. These talks were seen as a positive development, although no concrete agreements or breakthroughs were announced.
Despite all odds, China brokered last week a security deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia which states that the two countries respect each other’s sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of each other.
The deal paves the way for the restoration of diplomatic relations and the reopening of embassies, in addition to restarting economic activities between both regional powers.
This deal is definitely good news for the Middle East region unless there are powers who want to keep the region in endless conflicts and we can detect these powers by simply checking their reactions to China’s brokered deal.
For example, the reaction from neo-conservative and Israeli voices to the KSA-Iran agreement makes something clear; They are terrified by the idea of Iran and the Gulf states getting along. Some may argue that their interests are in Saudi-Iranian relations remaining hostile, not peace and stability.
But the world is changing rapidly and emerging powers are increasingly playing important mediating roles separate from the United States, and deals like this will pave the way for energy-rich countries to join the BRICS economic block and rapidly distance themselves from the NATO block which presented nothing but destruction, misery and underdevelopment to the rest of the world.
Kevork Almassian is an award-winning political commentator from Syria. He is the founder of Syriana Analysis and is known for his contribution to the literature on the Syrian war.