Early Friday evening, news broke China had brokered a deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia to reopen their embassies which could be a road map to a more stable Middle East. The announcement of the reopening of embassies in both Iran and Saudi Arabia is a significant development for the Middle East.
The relationship between Iran and Saudi Arabia has been strained for many years. The two countries have been at odds over a range of issues, including their differing interpretations of Islam and their role in the conflicts in Syria and Yemen. The tension between the two countries has led to a series of proxy wars in the region, which have destabilized the Middle East and led to significant loss of life.
Up until 2016, both the Saudis and Iranians had a working diplomatic relationship until the Saudi Embassies in Tehran and Mashhad were fired bombed by Iranian protestors over the execution of a prominent Saudi Arabian Shi’a cleric. The lack of diplomatic ties between the two countries left a void within the region, causing further destabilization.
China has been increasingly active in the Middle East in recent years. As the world’s largest oil importer, China has a vested interest in maintaining stability in the region. China has been actively working to broker deals between the different countries in the region in an effort to reduce tensions and promote cooperation. This move could pave the way for improved relations between the two countries, which could help reduce regional tensions. If this deal succeeds, it could serve as a model for resolving other regional conflicts.
The deal brokered by China has been met with mixed reactions. Many countries see China’s involvement as a positive force for stability in the region, while the United States has expressed concerns about China’s growing influence. One of the main talking points of the United States is that China’s involvement in the region could lead to a shift in the balance of power. It has long been the United States’ role to dominate the Middle East, but China’s increasing involvement threatens the balance of power.
At the end of the day, does it really matter what country brokers a deal that brings peace to the Middle East, and shouldn’t that be the goal of every foreign leader? For centuries across the globe, too much blood has been spilled in the name of religion, cultural differences, land and the thirst for power. Now is the time for diplomacy and peace and the hope that if Iran and Saudi Arabia can find a road map to peace, so too can other nations embroiled in generational conflicts.