Towards a new Middle East? 

The agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia is supposed to increase stability in the Gulf region and significantly reduce tensions between the Sunni camp and the Shiite camp in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia estimates that it has arranged for itself an insurance certificate in case of an Israeli or American attack on the nuclear facilities in Iran, everything depends on Iran complying with the agreement that was signed.



China jumped into the deep waters of the Middle East and demonstrated successful mediation between Iran and Saudi Arabia which resulted in the signing of an agreement on the renewal of ties between them, this is an important political achievement for China in the Gulf region which is considered a distinct American sphere of influence. 

The Biden administration welcomed the agreement but there is no doubt that it is very disturbed by the loss of its exclusive hegemony, China is its rival and a member of the Russian-Iranian axis. 

China has important ties with Saudi Arabia in the economic field and there is no doubt that it has strengthened them even more, it needs Saudi oil and is a partner of Saudi Arabia in the field of developing Saudi infrastructure: building roads, bridges and airports. 

Saudi Arabia failed in its attempts to unite the Arab and Islamic countries against Iran, it also got involved in the war in Yemen which has become a nightmare for it for the past 7 years, the war has become a war of attrition in which the Houthi rebels have the upper hand. 

Saudi Arabia was subjected to dangerous attacks by missiles and drones launched by the Houthi rebels towards its territory and towards its oil facilities which caused it great economic damage. 


What has Saudi Arabia achieved?  


Not only Iran has achievements as a result of the agreement with Saudi Arabia, the Saudis would not have signed it without getting what they wanted, it is a fact that the negotiations with Iran lasted for two years. 

Saudi Arabia seems to have some important achievements to its credit. 


  1. Saudi Arabia estimates that the agreement with Iran removed it and most of the Gulf countries from the circle of danger and harm in the event of an Iranian response to an American or Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

This is a very important point for the Saudi royal house which sees the signing of the agreement with Iran as a factor that neutralizes the many tensions between the two countries and symbolizes a new chance for stability in their relations, if indeed the agreement is implemented in all its clauses without delay. 


  1. Creating a real chance of achieving a comprehensive ceasefire in the war in Yemen and then a political agreement that will bring an end to the war and free Saudi Arabia from the Houthi rebels’ attacks on its cities and oil facilities.
  2. C. The cessation of Iranian interference in the internal affairs of Saudi Arabia, to which Iran expressly committed in the agreement.
  3. The continuation of oil production and its supply through the Persian Gulf without Iranian interference.


Saudi Arabia signed the agreement with Iran because it was very disappointed with the role of the US in the Gulf, which did not provide any protection against Iranian aggression, the most prominent example of which was the attack that Iran was behind using missiles and drones on the Aramco oil facilities in Al-Bukeiq in 2019 , the US simply ignored the attack that caused heavy economic damage to Saudi Arabia and did not take any action against Iran. 

The Saudis also estimated that Israel is now weak and will not attack the nuclear facilities in Iran, so they should ensure their security from  the Iranian threat. 

It is not yet clear what the consequences of the agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia will be on the normalization process between Israel and Saudi Arabia, the hegemony of the United States which is supposed to help Israel achieve this agreement has been severely damaged and it is possible that Israel’s integration process in the Middle East will also be damaged, things will become clear over time, however, There are many in the Middle East who strongly doubt that Shia Iran really intends to reconcile with Saudi Arabia, the leader of the Sunni camp, the centuries-old religious and political rivalry between Sunni and Shia cannot disappear from the world in the blink of an eye, and Iran is known for its deception moves and its non-compliance with the agreements it signed. 

 time will tell. 

Yoni Ben Menachem Senior Middle East Analyst

About Yoni Ben Menachem

Yoni Ben Menachem is a Middle East senior analyst ,a journalist and
the former CEO of the Israel Broadcasting Authority(IBA). He has
decades of experience in written and video journalism. Ben
Menachem’s path in the media world began as a producer for
Japanese television in the Middle East. After that, he held many key
positions in the media The Israeli: CEO of the Israel Broadcasting
Authority, director of “Kol Israel” Radio, reporter on West Bank and
Gaza Strip affairs, political reporter and commentator, commentator
on Middle East affairs and editor-in-chief and presenter of the
program “Middle East Magazine”. 

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