TEHRAN, IRAN — In a significant breakthrough brokered by China, two of the Middle East’s regional powerhouses, Saudi Arabia and Iran, have agreed to restore diplomatic relations and reopen embassies and missions within two months. The trilateral statement, published by both countries’ official media, follows several rounds of dialogue in Iraq and Oman and five days of previously unannounced talks in Beijing. The agreement has significant implications for the Middle East, where the two countries have long been rivals and have been involved in several flashpoints.
The decision to restore ties marks a significant shift in relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which have long been characterized by tension and conflict. Riyadh cut ties with Iran in 2016 after protesters attacked Saudi diplomatic missions following the execution of a Shia cleric, Nimr al-Nimr. The detente between the two countries could reshape relations across the region, which has been characterized by turbulence for decades.
The deal, which was signed by Iran’s top security official, Ali Shamkhani, and Saudi Arabia’s national security adviser, Musaad bin Mohammed Al Aiban, includes plans to reactivate a 2001 security cooperation accord and an earlier pact on trade, economy, and investment.
The deal, which was signed by Iran’s top security official, Ali Shamkhani, and Saudi Arabia’s national security adviser, Musaad bin Mohammed Al Aiban, includes plans to reactivate a 2001 security cooperation accord and an earlier pact on trade, economy, and investment. The two countries have also affirmed respect for the sovereignty of states and the non-interference in the internal affairs of states. The potential downside of the agreement, however, is that if the two countries are the ones divvying up the region and sorting things out amongst themselves, regional contexts and grievances could be overlooked, which could potentially be problematic.
The rapprochement has been welcomed by many, including Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar, as well as Pakistan, which has commended China’s visionary leadership in coordinating the historic agreement. The White House has also welcomed the deal, but said it remains to be seen whether Iran will meet its obligations.
The potential for increased cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, two of the Middle East’s most powerful countries, has significant implications for the region. The move could help to ease tensions and bring about a more stable and prosperous Middle East. However, there are also concerns that the two countries could become too dominant in the region, which could be problematic.
The announcement is significant not only for the Middle East but also for global politics. The agreement could help to reduce tensions between the US and Iran, which have been high in recent years. It could also have implications for China’s relationship with the Middle East, where it has been seeking to increase its influence in recent years.
In conclusion, the agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia to restore ties and reopen diplomatic missions is a significant development for the Middle East and global politics. The move has the potential to reshape relations across the region and ease tensions that have existed for decades. While there are concerns about the potential downsides of increased cooperation between the two countries, the agreement offers a ray of hope in a region that has been characterized by turbulence and conflict for far too long.