The Saudi-Iran deal and its impacts on the region – TBP Editorial

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Last week, following China’s reconciliation efforts, Saudi Arabia and Iran, two influential rivals in the Middle East, announced the restoration of diplomatic ties that had been severed for many years, and the opening of closed embassies in the next two months. Before China’s intervention, there were several rounds of talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran, hosted by Oman and Iraq. The restoration of relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran will have direct and indirect effects on our region.

Prior to the restoration of relations, the Middle East has been tense for decades, with Sunni-majority Saudi Arabia and Shia-majority Iran competing for supremacy in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon, and both countries supporting various rival factions. Iran’s proxy organizations have increased difficulties for Saudi Arabia in these countries. After the Houthi rebels attacked Aramco’s oil facilities, Saudi Arabia’s slightly adverse relations with the United States, and Iran’s increased influence in the region, Arabs have been forced to change their policy and sign an agreement to restore relations with Iran.

In our region, including Balochistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran have been creating problems for each other through their proxy organizations. Saudi Arabia is funding Sunni extremist organizations and madrassas, which are targeting the Shia population, especially the Hazara community in Balochistan. Iran accuses Sunni Baloch organizations fighting against them of being Saudi-backed, and Saudi Arabia providing them financial support.

Iran is supporting some elements and organizations of the Shia population in different areas of Balochistan and Pakistan, and a large number of Shia population have gone to Syria, Iraq, and Yemen to fight under the auspices of Iran. They are organizing Shia populations in Pakistan into the Zainabi Brigade and Fatemiyoun Brigade in Afghanistan, who work for Iran’s interests in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and participate in Iran’s proxy war in other countries around the world.

It is too early to say whether Iran and Saudi Arabia will stop supporting proxy organizations in the Middle East and our region, or if conflicts and tensions will continue in the Middle East. However, after the restoration of relations between Israel and Arab countries following the Abraham Accords, there was a new alignment against Iran. In these circumstances, the agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia will be considered a major success for Iran. The agreement through China is a success of China’s foreign and economic diplomacy in the Middle East, which will increase its role in the region and have direct or indirect effects on Balochistan.

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