Saudi Arabia and Iran Kiss and Make up Compliments of China

Nournews via AP

Beijing notched a foreign policy victory on Friday, brokering an agreement to re-establish diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The Middle East powers have been openly at odds for years. As Joe Cunningham wrote in January 2016:


Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran are at a high after the former executed 47 prisoners, including a prominent Shiite cleric. Saudi Arabia announced the executions, which included al Qaeda militants and at least four Shiite dissidents. The executions led to protests in Iran, where several protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran and set fires.

The cleric executed was Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, who spoke frequently in opposition to the Saudi Arabian government, calling for greater rights for the Shiite people of the predominantly Sunni nation. He was convicted for his part in organizing rallies that turned violent, though he claimed he never advocated violence against the Saudi government or the Al Saud ruling family.

Tensions between the two nations have been escalating for years, with civil wars in Syria and Yemen drawing the two nations into supporting opposing sides. Saudi Arabia was also a major critic of President Barack Obama’s Iran Deal, before suddenly declaring they were fine with Obama’s reassurances. It would not make the country happy if Iran were to get access to nuclear weapons, however, because they could very likely be target number two (the first being Israel).

The intervening years have seen continued conflict between the two nations. And the Biden administration hasn’t helped.

Is this all coincidental that this comes after Biden has come in, lifting the terrorist designation on the Houthis without any concessions on their part or on Iran’s part, and indicated he’s willing to go back into the terrible Iran Deal? Not to mention Biden saying that he would end the support for the Saudis who were backing the internationally recognized government that the Houthis are trying to take out. Biden’s basically waving the flag to the Houthis and saying, “Come on,” and they are. It’s already a blood bath in Yemen.

People who are knowledgeable about the region and what’s going on laid it at Joe Biden’s feet.


Never mind the fact that after alienating the Saudis, Joe Biden went hat in hand to them last summer in a failed effort to nab an assist on oil supply.

Now, China has secured a deal that provides that Saudi Arabia and Iran will reopen embassies and missions within two months and a summit will be held shortly between their foreign ministers.

The deal, which comes after other unsuccessful attempts by Iraq and others to mend fences, marks a diplomatic victory for Beijing in a region where the U.S. has long dominated geopolitics.

Iran and Saudi Arabia are major suppliers of oil to China and have sought closer economic ties, but the agreement is the first time Beijing has weighed in so heavily on the region’s rivalries.

The agreement was hammered out in secret in Beijing between top Saudi and Iranian officials over several days, Iranian state-aligned media reported. It comes three months after Chinese leader Xi Jinping met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in December in Riyadh, and follows Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s trip to Beijing last month.

It also comes right on the heels of Xi’s third presidential term being formally secured.


Certainly, the deal gives China something to crow about…

China’s role in the talks marks a watershed moment for Beijing’s ambitions in the region, and another blow to the U.S. in a part of the world where it has waged war and spent hundreds of billions of dollars in providing security for allies. Along with Russia’s intervention in the Syrian civil war, China’s secret diplomacy is another sign of the U.S.’s struggle to maintain influence in the Middle East.

…with an added thumb in the eye of the U.S.


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