Iran and Saudi Arabia Reconciliation and its Implications on Global Politics

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BY Muhammad Azhar Kaleem 

The significant news and most shocking breakthrough happened as the two most adverse rivals of the Islamic world Iran and Saudi Arabia has been concluded a truce or peace agreement for cooperation with each other and agreed to de-escalation and normalisation of the relations between the two states through the mediative efforts of china.

This time surprisingly China has played a crucial role in bringing close these two most powerful and conventional rivals. To bring stability in the middle east and the whole region, China has played a mediative role.

This time Saudi Arabia has emerged as a confident state to deal with a new energy and passion without taking much care about its ally U.S.A . Despite the desperate efforts of Israel to make Iran more and more isolated in the international community and the struggle of pushing the U.S to support it at every platform in this regard by taking any measure to achieve its goals through any means,

Israel has failed badly to win the backup support of its most trusted ally the U.S.A. Hence despite making Iran isolated at a global level Israel has to face this setback just like in a contrast and opposite reaction of every struggle which it had been made until yet.

Although Israel had shown its deep concerns about the Iranian Nuclear programme which Iran has been claiming since the beginning that Iran would follow all the international laws to develop the Peaceful usage of Nuclear capabilities for energy consumption.

But Israel had been making great efforts by screaming that Iran would go after Nuclear proliferation and would not remain limited to using this Nuclear only for civilian and peaceful purposes but all had gone in vain because of this truce between the Saudi Arab and Iran to conclude a deal for cooperation to wipe out all the external forces and factors; from the Middle East and to eliminate every mutual enemy which would become the threat for the security and stability of both states.

Although This zig-zag of escalations and de-escalations and these ups and downs in the relations had a long historical root this time China and Russia played a significant role to bring these two neighbours close and bring them to the reconciliation point to fight collaboratively with any external threat for their mutual benefits and security.

In this regard, some important factors played a significant role. The U.S.A and Saudi Arabia have been collaborating for a long time because Sudia provides a large share of supplying the oil to the U.S.A and fulfils its energy demands. As a reciprocal gesture, the U.S.A had assured Saudi Arabia that the security, monarchy and sovereignty of Saudia Arabia would be the responsibility of the U.S.A.

But the Ukraine war had changed a lot of the scenarios nowadays. Being an ally of the U.S.A and despite the NATO forces Ukraine had to face severe consequences of the war and constantly went to back foots day by day, by retreating and paying the heavy cost of the war in the shape of casualties and collapsing economy and yet the temptations and motivations of Western block and the. The U.S. could not able to pull Ukraine out of the war and still Ukraine is standing on the verge of collapse to uncertainty.

This has alarmed the K.S.A and make it afraid about its security concerns about which it had been so much confident until yet that the U.S.A would deal and it had such a supreme capacity to deal with any sort of danger if Saudi Arabia ever would be needed at any time.

China has provided drones for spying to Ukraine and Iran had also shown sympathies with Russia due to its rivalry with the U.S.A.

Yemen is another burning issue between the K.S.A and Iran. K.S.A had been blaming Iran for supporting the huts Tribes and community and conspiracies against its state which Iran had negated repeatedly.

Saudi Arabia had lost its confidence in the U.S.A due to many problems like its involvement in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. In all of these regions, chaos has been raising day by day and the U.S. could not deliver the performance it promised so it has lost the trust of Saudia Arabia regarding its security concerns.

This is no doubt a potential historical shift key because both neighbours had a long history of ups and downs in relations. The surprising element in this shift is also the People’s republic of China because it had not a long track of such a mediation record as it had usually remained restricted to its boundaries and had not interfered with any internal and domestic issues of any state so often until yet.

This time too, china has not been taking credit for this mediation a lot like. the U.S. do usually, but the credit goes to the Republic of Iraq which had remained a battlefield of the U.S. for a long time it has been also worth mentioning that it is a middle Eastern deal anyhow and besides China, Iraq played a key role in this whole process. As we know success has many fathers. this whole process of negotiations started in Bagdad during 2021-2022 when former officials of both states met five times in Baghdad meetings.

Historical Rift

In 2011, Saudi Arabia accused Iran of inciting the protests against Bahrain Royal Family during Arab Spring.

In 2015, Iran and Saudia backed different parties as the civil war in Yemen began and both states provided military and political support to their related groups.

In 2016, Saudia executed a prominent Shiite Leader who had started protests in Iran and Saudi Arabia cut off the ties after an attack on its Embassy in Iran.

In 2019, Saudi Arabia-run oil company ARAMCO was targeted due to causing instability in the Oil market.

Expectations in Future and Emerging Role of China in Global Politics

The Middle East was eager to listen to this good news for a long time, its pleasant implications would be observed in all of the Middle East especially Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen and Syria. It is so because this settlement between Saudi Arabia and Iran would bring stability and eliminate the chaotic situations in these countries and they would be able to settle their dispute peacefully.

The most shocking and unpleasant implications would be seen in Israel, which had been already afraid of the Iranian Nuclear programme. Israel would pressurise the U.S.A to enforce Saudi Arabia and it will try its best to compel Saudi Arabia to join Abraham Accord to Isolate Iran from the international community but it would be difficult because of King Salman’s inclination towards China and Russia.

It has been noticed to the fact that Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister was on an official visit to Russia amid the war in Ukraine.

Iran had suffered a lot at the hands of Saddam Hussain who was backed and supported by the West, and Yeman suffered from Saudi Arabia.

Saudia Arabia has shown a sudden shift in its foreign policy, now it has not been depending upon the only U.S.A as it was some years before. China has played a mediative role in this Truce between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which will escalate tensions and trust deficit between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. By doing so Saudi Arabia has shown new self-confidence and independence from the U.S.A and has shown that Saudi Arabia is a free state to make new friends and has no pressure from any power. It has indicated that Saudia Arabia as a totalitarian regime would always like to maintain oil prices high, so for this, it had to coordinate not only with OPEC but also with Russia, Iran and China. Saudia is interested to trade with China in Youan instead of Dollars and it would be a serious blow to the U.S.A economy, same as it is, Saudia would trade oil with Iran and Russia not in Dollars which shows the increasing incline of King Salman towards Iran, Russia and China because it is also a fact that King Salaman and JOE Biden has not very good relations at all level, personal, political and at the state level.

This changing scenario would create many new political implementations not only
The Middle East but also the whole world because the world has been becoming more and more chaotic day by day like the case of Taiwan, West Asia volatile region and Europe amid the Ukraine war.

The U.S.A. has not been proven a reliable partner in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Georgia where the government was backed by the West but attacked by also the West for law.

Saudi Arabia considering alternatives just not to become such a vulnerable state and could not rely now on NATO and U.S.A so it has been strengthening ties with its neighbour states of Asia, Eurasian and the Middle East.

Iran has been pushed for so long by the West and the U.S. that it had been bearing the sanctions and its economy suffering so badly. In this whole scenario, Iran would take benefit by collaborating with Saudi Arabia and Russia for oil trade and by normalisation it could bring peace in the Middle East and other linked states. It could become an alternative friend for not only Saudi Arabia but also for China and Russia. Despite the sanctions implemented by the West, it could become a prosperous nation and could utilize its peaceful nuclear programme for the development of not only its region but the whole of the world.

Upcoming years are very crucial in this regard, maybe this bloc of Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Russia could lead the world towards new dimensions and destinations of progress, development and prosperity.

(Muhammad Azhar Kaleem , is a Researcher, Scholar and an Analyst of Interntaional Relations and Defence and Stratetgic Studies , and visiting Lecturer at School of Political Science and International Relations, Quaid -e- Azam University Islamabad)