Iran and Saudi Arabia resume diplomatic ties | WORLD
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Iran and Saudi Arabia resume diplomatic ties

Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, right, shakes hands with China's most senior diplomat Wang Yi, as Saudi Arabia's National Security Adviser Musaad bin Mohammed al-Aiban looks on during an agreement signing ceremony between Iran and Saudi Arabia to reestablish diplomatic relations and reopen embassies after seven years of tensions, in Beijing, China, on Friday, March 10, 2023. (Nournews via AP)

Iran and Saudi Arabia resume diplomatic ties

Officials announced the agreement on Friday following meetings in Beijing. The ties were severed in 2016 when Iranian mobs stormed Saudi diplomatic posts to protest Saudi Arabia’s execution of more than 40 people, including a Shia cleric. Most Iran Muslims are Shia and the majority of Saudi Arabian Muslims are Sunni. 

What’s in the agreement? Both countries say that they will reopen their embassies in the next two months, while they respect each other’s sovereignty and internal affairs. Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, a research fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute, thinks it’s likely that Iran and Saudi Arabia could now pull out of a proxy war in Yemen, where they’ve been involved in the conflict since 2014. The deal’s mediation by China comes as part of China’s increased diplomatic outreach in the Middle East.

Dig deeper: Read Jill Nelson’s report in WORLD Magazine about Muslims’ increasing interest in Christianity.

Elias Ferenczy

Elias Ferenczy is a breaking news intern for WORLD. He’s a graduate of WORLD Journalism Institute and Covenant College.

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