News Release

China Brokers Normalization Between Iran and Saudi Arabia


TRITA PARSI,, @tparsi
Parsi is the executive vice president of the Quincy Institute. He states: “Saudi-Iran normalization is a BIG DEAL, not just because of the positive repercussions it can have in the region — from Lebanon to Yemen — but also because of mediated it (China) and who didn’t (U.S.).

“Saudi-Iran tensions have had many ups and downs in the past 40 years, but this is the first time they have agreed to lower the temperature through Chinese mediation. By not taking sides, China has emerged as a player that can resolve disputes rather than merely sell weapons.”

Meanwhile, Parsi notes the U.S. focus on Israel: “When asked about the China-brokered agreement between Iran and Saudi, Biden responds that ‘the better relations between ISRAEL and its Arab neighbors, the better for everybody.'” Parsi adds: “While the Abraham Accords have been lauded as a ‘peace deal,’ the Wall Street Journal explicitly states that it could ‘extinguish the flickering Palestinian hopes of creating an independent state.’ So it would be a ‘peace’ based on Israel annexing Palestine. Got it.”

In 2021 Parsi called on the U.S. to help build a new Persian Gulf security architecture: “1. Abandon dominance 2. Encourage regional dialogue, but let the region lead 3. Include other major powers such as China.” He notes now: “Biden didn’t listen, but apparently Beijing did.”

He adds: “The Saudi-Iran normalization was apparently not a one-off by China. China is also arranging a summit between Iran and the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council for later this year.”