Iran and Saudi Arabia – power of the Shiite branch of Islam the first and Sunni the second – traditional enemies in the Middle East, announced this Friday that they reestablished diplomatic relations, which they had been broken by Riyadh in 2016 after attacks on its diplomatic headquarters in the Persian country for the execution of a Shiite cleric in the Arab country. The agreement signed in China – a mediating country – includes the reopening of embassies. These two countries are oil powers and are fighting for regional hegemony by supporting rival factions in different conflicts. Since last Monday, they have been negotiating in Beijing led by the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran -Ali Shamkhani- and the Saudi National Security Adviser, Musaid Al Aiban, who pledged to “respect the sovereignty of countries and non-interference in their internal affairs”. And a 2001 security agreement and memorandums of cooperation on the economy, trade, investment, technology, science, culture, sports and youth were reactivated.
Saudi Arabia had repeatedly accused Iran of promoting terrorism in the region by supporting Yemen’s Houthi rebels and Lebanese Hezbollah militias, as well as trying to destabilize political regimes in the area.