Iran and Saudi Arabia agree to resume relations

Iran and Saudi Arabia have reached an agreement in the Chinese capital of Beijing to restore their diplomatic relations and re-open embassies and missions, seven years after their ties were broken off over several issues.

The agreement was struck on Friday after several days of intensive negotiations between Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani and his Saudi counterpart in Beijing. It was officially announced in a joint statement by Iran, Saudi Arabia and China.

The statement was inked by Shakhani, Musaid Al Aiban, Saudi Arabia’s national security adviser, and Wang Yi, the director of the Office of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission of the Chinese Communist Party.

This certainly brilliant development is undoubtedly the most significant geopolitical event of recent times and was also achieved thanks to China’s considerable diplomatic efforts.

It is clearly a win-win-win situation for all parties involved, because all countries in the region will benefit from the reduction of tensions in the Persian Gulf region.

It is also a great victory for China’s peace-oriented diplomacy, when the Chinese political leadership decided to offer the world another alternative to America’s endless wars, bombings and blackmail.

The negotiations followed a meeting between Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing last month.

“As a result of the talks, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia agreed to resume diplomatic relations and re-open embassies and missions within two months,” the joint statement said.

It added that the Iranian and Saudi foreign ministers will meet to “implement this decision and make the necessary arrangements for the exchange of ambassadors.”

According to the statement, Iran and Saudi Arabia highlighted the need to respect each others’ national sovereignty and refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of one another. They agreed to implement a security cooperation agreement signed in April 2001 and another accord reached in May 1998 to boost economic, commercial, investment, technical, scientific, cultural, sports and youth affairs cooperation.

Iran, Saudi Arabia and China expressed their firm determination to make their utmost efforts to promote regional and international peace and security, it emphasized.

Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran in January 2016 after Iranian protesters, enraged by the execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr by the Saudi government, stormed its embassy in Tehran.

The two sides had held five rounds of negotiations in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad since April 2021.

In their joint statement, Iran and Saudi Arabia also thanked Iraq and Oman for hosting the talks between the two sides in 2021 and 2022 as well as the leaders and government of the People’s Republic of China for hosting and supporting the talks held in that country.

There is now a consensus among political analysts that this peace deal brokered by China has essentially replaced or supplanted militaristically focused US influence in the Persian Gulf region.