Changing Dynamics Of Saudi-Iran Relations: A Shift in World Order

Changing Dynamics Of Saudi-Iran Relations: A Shift in World Order
With the advent of peace between Saudia Arabia and Iran, the global world order is shifting. On March 10 Tehran and Riyadh came to an understanding: Publicly announcing to restore diplomatic ties with each other. Finally ending the deadlock between the two nations. Tehran and Riyadh have both positively affirmed the newfound peace between them and are sure to set their sights on regional integration and cooperation through rapprochement.

China facilitated the rapprochement bringing the two nations together in Beijing. The representatives of Iran and Saudia have been meeting on and off in China. Now moving past the bitter four decades of cold rivalry that had turned both of these nations into enemies. After Saudia cut ties with Iran in 2016, Irani protestors burnt down the Saudi embassy in response to Riyadh executing Nimr al Nimr, a popular Shia cleric. Iran had become isolated from the world since then.

Saudi and Irani foreign ministers met in China issuing a joint statement explaining Riyadh and Tehran's intention to open ties with each other. The statement explained the following points: expansion of cooperation between the two nations via a contribution in achieving stability, security, and prosperity in the region, reopening of embassies in Tehran and Riyadh while opening consulates in Mashhad and Jeddah, resuming of flights and facilitation of visas, affirmation to do everything to overcome potential obstacles in the way of cooperation.

Following this statement, Iran has reopened its embassy in Riyadh and appointed Alireza Enayati as its ambassador to Saudia Arabia. Similarly, Saudia has appointed an ambassador and has been working in Tehran. However, the identity of the ambassador has not been yet made public and the embassy remains closed for now with the Saudis currently working from a high-end hotel in Tehran. Riyadh and Tehran have been working tirelessly to ensure a smooth transition to cooperation with minimum hiccups.

China, the main sponsor and facilitator of peace among them is also a beneficiary to the peace as well. Beijing has been cooperating closely with both nations. With Iran, China is known to be importing Iranian oil despite the sanctions placed upon Iran. Furthermore, with its Belt Road Initiative, China is investing heavily in Iranian progression. Iran, as of July 4, has joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as a member. Similarly, Saudi Arabia has also become a dialogue partner with the SCO. China has facilitated both nations to further strengthen its position in the international system, accordingly, it has made itself pivotal to both Iran and Saudia.

Furthermore, the region of the middle east in turn has directed itself toward stability with the Saudi-Irani peace, especially in Yemen. Tehran has agreed to suspend its support towards the Houthi rebels and Riyadh in turn has agreed to stop bombings in Yemen. the Gulf states have showcased a positive response, considered a positive first step in regional peacebuilding. Essentially the middle eastern states are also affected by the deal, it is observed that Iraq will have a decrease in tension in the region so will Lebanon, both nations have had internal conflicts backed by Riyadh and Tehran and hence will have a potential stable platform of growth.

However, what does the rapprochement mean for either of the two nations? For Iran, it is a step forward to end the global isolation. It is potentially a way out to dealing internationally, trading, and advancing with the support of international actors. It is an economic lifeline for Iran. Likewise, for Saudia, there are economic motivations as well, with its 2030 vision Iran plays a vital role in it. Saudia furthermore is taking an independent stance following this rapprochement it is slightly tilting away from the unshakeable clutches of US influence and its pro-US policy. Furthermore, in addition to being a dialogue partner in the SCO Saudia is cementing its role in the changing world order.

Saudi-Iran relations have now finally turned sweeter and follow independent foreign policies benefiting both nations. They are motivated by economic gains and interdependence, moreover, it is a potential peace that can perpetuate growth and harmony among the Shia-Sunni conflict around the world. It is in its possibilities one small step for the two nations, a giant leap for the Muslim world. However, the nature of the agreement between the two states is highly sensitive and volatile and requires careful consideration in moving forward. Thus, the world needs to consider is the realization of the beneficiaries of the peace are not simply the two nations but a region that is in protracted conflict.