Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed on Friday to end years of hostilities and reset diplomatic ties, following previously undisclosed talks in Beijing between the rival powers’ top security officials.
A White House National Security Council spokeswoman said of the report, “The United States is aware of reports that Iran and Saudi Arabia have resumed diplomatic relations, but referred further details to the Saudis.” “Generally, we welcome any effort to help end the war in Yemen and reduce tensions in the Middle East region.”
The two countries announced the agreement after four days of meetings, saying they would “restart diplomatic relations between them and reopen their embassies and missions within a period of not more than two months.”
“The agreement includes their affirmation of respect for the sovereignty of states and non-interference in their internal affairs.”
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Saudi Arabia and Iran also agreed to activate a security cooperation agreement signed in 2001, in addition to earlier agreements on trade, economy and investment. The talks in Beijing concluded a series of ongoing discussions in Iraq and Oman in 2021 and 2022.
“The three countries also expressed their determination to make every effort to strengthen regional and international peace and security,” a joint statement from Tehran, Riyadh and Beijing said.
Behnam Ben Taleblou, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and an Iran expert, told Fox News Digital that the deal presented a means for Iran to demonstrate that it could “diplomatically limit the Abraham Accords”, So he expected Iran to continue. “To talk about a settlement.”
He also noted the importance of China’s role in brokering the deal, which he argued would lead to “increased interest” in the region’s politics that would create “deeper political animosity”.
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“No one should be surprised at a possible Iran-Saudi diplomatic resumption by China,” said Ben Talebu. “China is the largest trading partner on both sides of the Persian Gulf, thanks to its appetite for hydrocarbons and energy from the region.”
“Riyadh is seeking this deal through Iran’s partner, Beijing, and not Iran’s adversary, Washington. You need to know how much the JCPOA has hurt the perception in Saudi that the US can meaningfully disrupt the Islamic Republic.” ,
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Yuli Edelstein, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, criticized his country for focusing on “internal conflicts” instead of “our worst enemy”.
“Iran and Saudi Arabia have agreed to resume relations and this is very bad for Israel and the entire free world,” Edelstein said.
Reaction from other countries in the Middle East, however, has been positive and welcoming of the agreement. Iraq said it welcomed “the turning of a new page” between the rival powers, according to the state news agency.
Yemen’s Houthi chief negotiator Mohammad Abdulsalam welcomed the deal, tweeting that the region needed the restoration of “normal relations” between the countries.
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Rebekah Koffler, president of Doctrine and Strategy Consulting and a former Defense Intelligence Agency official, told Fox News Digital that the deal represents “another indicator of the tectonic geopolitical shifts happening in the world.”
“China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and now Saudi Arabia are getting closer, and in the case of Saudi Arabia, a traditional American ally away from the United States,” Koffler said. “Many of these recent changes are driven by the Biden administration’s response to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which was emotional rather than rational.”
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“US sanctions policies have failed to change the behavior of their targets, be it Putin, the Iranian Ayatollahs, etc.” “Deterrence through military power and sometimes the use of force is a more powerful alternative.”
Reuters contributed to this report.
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