Khattar Abou Diab, who teaches political science at the University of Paris, told VOA that the "new feature" of the Saudi-Iran agreement is China's role in the deal, which he said is "very simple to understand."
China, he said, has major economic interests with both countries and its regional ambitions won't see the light of day unless the region is stable.
dded that just as the U.S. has made its (famous) pivot to the Asia-Pacific region, China has made its own pivot to the Middle East and time will tell whether that will create a new zone of conflict between the world's two major powers, the U.S. and China.
China imports 40% of the oil it consumes from the Middle East and its oft-publicized "Maritime Silk Road Initiative" involves using ports in both the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea and on the eastern coast of Africa, which are frequently buffeted by regional turbulence.
Khonsari stressed that he "doesn't see Iran...in any way...accommodating the Saudis with what they have sought in terms of reducing their proxy interference in places like Iraq, Syria, Lebanon or Yemen" and that the "fundamental differences between Iran and Saudi Arabia that have existed since the inception of the Islamic Republic in 1979"— with a few brief and temporary exceptions — remain.
since the 2015 nuclear deal called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, "Iran has used its proxy forces to destroy most of the institutions of state in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon." One must wonder, he asked, "if Iran is likely to change its style and definitively abandon its idea of exporting its revolution in the form of a transnational and trans-religious project.
"the repercussions of the resumption of ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia are likely to be more visible in the coming weeks and months but the good news is that tensions, which were building (between the two sides), seem to have eased, giving other Gulf States a sense of relief."
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