Iran and Saudi Arabia restore diplomatic ties, a blow to US, Israel policy in Mideast
An agreement struck by Iran and Saudi Arabia on Friday to re-establish relations has dealt a severe blow to US and Israeli policy to isolate Tehran in the region.
After several days of intensive negotiations hosted by China, Iran and Saudi Arabia finally clinched a deal on Friday to restore diplomatic relations and re-open embassies, seven years after ties were severed over several issues.
The important development became a hot topic in regional as well as international media and reactions from other countries began to pour in.
“The return to normal relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Saudi Arabia provides great capacities to both countries, the region, and the Muslim world,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who is set to soon meet with his Saudi counterpart to make the necessary arrangements, wrote in a post on his Twitter account.
“The good neighborliness policy, as the key axis of the Iranian administration’s foreign policy, is strongly moving in the right direction and the diplomatic apparatus is actively behind the preparation of more regional steps,” he said.
Riyadh eyeing continuation of dialogue
Saudi National Security Adviser Musaid Al Aiban, who negotiated the agreement with his Iranian counterpart Ali Shamkhani, said that Riyadh “welcomes the initiative of His Excellency President Xi Jinping, based on the Kingdom’s consistent and continuous approach since its establishment in adhering to the principles of good neighborliness.”
He said Saudi Arabia takes “everything that would enhance security and stability in the region and the world,” while “adopting the principle of dialogue and diplomacy to resolve differences.”
The détente is one of the clearest signs yet that many Middle East countries are turning east after many decades of US hegemony.
“I think this is a broader sign of the changing global order and how the period of America being the unchallenged global superpower – especially after the Cold War – that period is ending,” Sina Toossi, non-resident senior fellow at the Center for International Policy in Washington, DC, told Al Jazeera.