“The restoration of relations between brotherly Saudi Arabia and Iran is an important step for the region towards stability and prosperity.” With these words, the Emirati Foreign Minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, tweeted through his Twitter account, in a supportive position for the agreement announced on March 10 in the Chinese capital, Beijing, which was signed by the Saudi and Iranian sides, and requires the return of diplomatic relations between the two countries within a maximum period of two months!
The Emirati welcome coincided with the support that came from various countries, such as the authority of Oman, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey… and many others, in addition to many international organizations and bodies.
The observer finds that the positive echoes of the Chinese-Saudi-Iranian tripartite statement came quickly, even before announcing the details of what was agreed upon, or the agenda that will be implemented during the time period between the announcement and the exchange of ambassadors. It is set for two months, during which the eyes of the media and politicians will be watching every progress in relations between Riyadh and Tehran, be it big or small!
The welcome is due to the security, political and economic weight of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran, although the latter suffers from several economic problems, but Saudi Arabia and Iran both have a great influence in the oil markets, and the two countries are active members of OPEC, despite the political dispute that lasted for years. , and the diplomatic boycott, but coordination continued in the energy file.
Saudi Arabia sought, despite the 2016 severance of diplomatic relations with Iran, following the attack on Saudi diplomatic headquarters in Tehran and Mashhad; Despite this, Riyadh sought to neutralize politics and security from influencing the oil file, and Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud spoke, describing former Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh as a “friend”, listing several joints in which the two ministers cooperated in order to stabilize oil prices and cohesion. The decision is within OPEC.
The return of Saudi-Iranian relations will reassure oil-exporting and consuming countries more about the sustainability of energy resources, and will distance international energy corridors, specifically in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, from being targeted, as happened to a number of tankers in the past years. As the recurrence of “terrorist” attacks, burglaries, or interception and confiscation, increased the cost of insurance, which increased the prices of supply chains, because tanker owners now feel that there is a state of security instability, after more than one ship was targeted in the Arabian Gulf!
So, securing supply lines and stopping armed militias from targeting oil refineries on the Arab coast of the Gulf is not just security arrangements that concern Saudi Arabia and its neighbors only, but rather is a matter of concern to all global markets.
Another matter, the Saudi-Iranian consensus, would mitigate the rhetoric of the extremist groups, which took the dispute between the two countries as a means of sectarian and religious fanaticism!
Saudi Arabia sought to put the dispute with Iran in its political and security category, but there are extremists from the two major Islamic sects: Sunnis and Shiites, who worked to incite sectarian feelings, under the umbrella of defending national interests, whether “Persian” or “Arab”, which resulted in a populist sectarian discourse And racist, inciting fundamentalists against each party, in order to achieve political gains. Reconciliation will work to ease the general tension, and push for dropping this weapon from the hands of the sectarians!
What makes public opinion care a lot about the understanding between Riyadh and Tehran, that diplomatic relations and the desire of the two countries in the success and development of their relationship, will help reduce the influence of the militias, if what was agreed upon is implemented, and the constant Saudi demands to rein in armed groups outside the rule of law are taken seriously. This will make the rule of law more powerful and influential in the countries where these groups are present.
The permanence of the Saudi-Iranian consensus requires that a gradual plan be drawn up, according to a timetable, to solve the issue of the militias loyal to the “Revolutionary Guard”, because development and modernization cannot be achieved in an environment ruled by weapons!
The decline in the role of the militias, or at least the freezing of their activities as a first stage, will reduce the severity of the conflict in more than one Middle Eastern regional country, and will push towards political solutions that make the central state more stable.
So, there are many positives in the Saudi-Iranian reconciliation, which will be reflected with time on the thorny files in the Middle East. It will not be able to solve it radically or quickly if there is no will for a solution from those mainly concerned with these files. However, reconciliation will give it an impetus towards breaking the stalemate and breaking the cycle of violence. Especially if Iran cooperates with Saudi Arabia in striving for regional security and stability.