In a deal that was negotiated by China on Friday, Iran and Saudi Arabia reportedly came to a historic agreement to re-establish diplomatic ties.
This brought an end to seven years of estrangement between the two countries and jolted the geopolitical alignment of the Middle East.
A diplomatic triumph for China in a region where the United States has traditionally dominated geopolitics, the accord comes after past fruitless attempts to heal ties by Iraq and others
The deal represents a diplomatic victory for Beijing in the area.
Both Iran and Saudi Arabia are important exporters of oil to China and have sought deeper economic connections; nonetheless, the accord marks the first time Beijing has weighed in so heavily on the regional rivalry.
Iran and Saudi Arabia have both pushed to strengthen their economic ties with China.
According to Iranian state-aligned media, the agreement was thrashed out in secrecy in Beijing between high-ranking Saudi and Iranian officials over the course of several days.
That comes three months after Chinese leader Xi Jinping met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in December in Riyadh, and it comes after Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s travel to Beijing last month.
Both of these events took place in December.
Iran and Saudi Arabia will reopen their embassies and missions on each other’s land within the next two months as part of the deal that was issued by all three nations.
Also, both countries have declared that they would not intervene in the internal affairs of the other.
The shocking diplomatic coup seemed to have happened without any input from the United States, who appeared to be completely frozen out of the talks.
The deal will likely be seen as extremely bad news for the United States and a major black eye for the Biden administration as it signals a new willingness on Saudi Arabia’s part to do business with high-profile enemies of America.