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What The Saudi-Iran Deal Means For Palestine, Israel, US, And Mideast

In a surprising development last weekend, Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to restore normal relations, reopen embassies in each other’s country, and reactivate security and trade agreements that have lain dormant.  The agreement has the potential to shake up both regional and global politics, but could also mean a lot less than it initially seems. It must be emphasized that this agreement, while certainly important, is not a cure-all for the Iranian-Saudi rivalry that has had such devastating effects across the region. That competition will still exist, as it existed before Saudi Arabia cut off relations with Iran in 2016 in the wake of protests that attacked Saudi missions in Iran after Saudi Arabia executed Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Shi’ite cleric and vocal critic of the Saudi government. 

Geopolitical Rumblings Leave US Behind

Over the last month we have seen astonishing geopolitical developments. In February China publicly lambasted U.S. hegemony, launched a global security initiative and offered a peace plan for Ukraine. On March 10 China mediated an agreement which restored relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran. On March 15 Moscow rolled out the red carpet for the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Yesterday al-Assad and his wife Asma arrived in the UAE for talks with Sheikh Mohammed Also yesterday Iran and Iraq signed a security cooperation agreement that will stop the CIA sponsored Kurdish activities against Iran.

China’s Iran-Saudi Peace Deal Is Big Blow To Petrodollar

China surprised the world on March 10, announcing that it had successfully sponsored peace talks between rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran. Four days of secret negotiations in Beijing led to a historic agreement in which the two West Asian nations normalized relations, following seven tense years without any official diplomatic ties. Iraq had previously hosted peace talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran, but these were sabotaged in January 2020 when US President Donald Trump ordered a drone strike to assassinate top Iranian official Qasem Soleimani, who had been involved in the negotiations.

China’s Great Leap In The Middle East

History’s wheel turned last Friday, when Iranian and Saudi Arabian officials agreed in Beijing to re-establish their bilateral diplomatic relations, which Riyadh severed seven years ago. Reflecting on this momentous development over the weekend, I’ll put it up there with the American defeat in Vietnam, April 1975, for its magnitude. The world we live in this week is not the same as the world we lived in last week. With the stroke of a pen—three pens, actually—China, the Islamic Republic, and the Saudi kingdom have altered the fundamental dynamic of global politics. The two Middle Eastern powers have transcended the historic and often vicious divide between Sunni and Shi'a Islam.

Seismic Iran-Saudi Rapprochement Isolates US

Ever since the 1979 Islamic Revolution that overthrew the U.S.-allied Shah of Iran, the rivalry between the two major Middle East powers — Iran and Saudi Arabia — has been at the heart of every conflict across the region. The announcement on Friday that Iran and Saudi Arabia have normalized relations could have a seismic effect on all these conflicts and leave the U.S. on the outside looking in. In Lebanon, Iranian-backed Hezbollah and Saudi-backed parties might begin to resolve their differences, a unity that would worry Israel and lessen U.S. influence in the country.

Mediated By China, Iran And Saudi Arabia Restore Ties

Regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia agree to restore ties after years of tensions The deal, which will see the two countries reopen embassies in each other’s capitals, was sealed during a meeting in China and announced Friday in a joint communique. Archrivals Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed Friday to restore diplomatic relations, a dramatic breakthrough brokered by China after years of soaring tensions between the regional rivals. The deal, which will see the two countries reopen embassies in each other’s capitals, was sealed during a meeting in China — a boost to Beijing’s efforts to rival the United States as a broker on the global stage. The agreement also may put a dampener Israel's ongoing efforts to normalize relations with its Arab neighbors.

UK Arms Sales To Saudi Arabia Face High Court Challenge 

On Tuesday, January 31, the High Court of Justice in London initiated a judicial review of the UK government’s arms sales to Saudi Arabia, even as the kingdom continues to lead an international coalition that has waged a war on Yemen for the past eight years. Over the course of three days, the court will hear a challenge brought by the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) against a decision taken by former Secretary of State for International Trade Liz Truss to resume arms sales to Saudi Arabia in July 2020. The UK is the second largest arms supplier in the world, after the US. In June 2019, the UK Court of Appeal had ruled in favor of a previous legal challenge by the CAAT, declaring that the government’s licensing grants for arms sales to Saudi Arabia were “irrational and therefore unlawful” in the absence of a proper assessment of whether Riyadh had a record of violating international humanitarian law (IHL), or the “laws of war,” in Yemen.

Multipolar Economic Order

The international economic system had been dominated for decades by the United States, but this financial architecture is rapidly fracturing with the creation of new institutions in the Global South. The BRICS bloc of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa is working “to develop a fairer system of monetary exchange”, to challenge the “dominance of the dollar”, South Africa’s foreign minister has revealed. Saudi Arabia publicly confirmed that it is considering selling its oil in other currencies. China’s President Xi Jinping said Beijing will buy energy from the Persian Gulf states in its own currency, the renminbi. Prominent economist Zoltan Pozsar, of the Swiss investment bank Credit Suisse, has observed that the “unipolar era” of US hegemony is quickly being replaced with a new “multipolar” order of “one world, two systems”.

Mass Rallies Across Yemen Denounce Saudi-Led War And Blockade 

On Sunday, January 8, president of the Sanaa-based government in Yemen, Mahdi al-Mashat, congratulated the thousands of protesters who participated in the “siege is war” rallies held across the country a day earlier to denounce the Saudi-led war and blockade. Al-Mashat said that by participating in the rallies, the Yemeni people had once again shown their united opposition to the external aggression directed at their country and the suffering that the war has unleashed on millions of people. Al-Masirah reported that thousands of Yemenis took to the streets in capital Sanaa and several other cities on Saturday, January 7, denouncing the Saudi Arabia-led and US-assisted aggression and blockade of Yemen.

The Road To De-Dollarisation Will Run Through Saudi Arabia

On 9 December, China’s President Xi Jinping met with the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to discuss deepening ties between the Gulf countries and China. At the top of the agenda was increased trade between China and the GCC, with the former pledging to ‘import crude oil in a consistent manner and in large quantities from the GCC’ as well to increase imports of natural gas. In 1993, China became a net importer of oil, surpassing the United States as the largest importer of crude oil by 2017. Half of that oil comes from the Arabian Peninsula, and more than a quarter of Saudi Arabia’s oil exports go to China. Despite being a major importer of oil, China has reduced its carbon emissions.

Xi’s Visit And The Future Of The Middle East

The problem with most Western media’s political analyses is that they generally tend to be short-sighted and focused mostly on variables that are of direct interest to Western governments. These types of analyses are now being applied to understanding official Arab attitudes towards Russia, China, global politics and conflicts. As Chinese President Xi Jinping prepares to lead a large delegation to meet with Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia on December 9, Western media conveys a sense of dread. The Chinese leader’s visit “comes against the backdrop” of the Biden Administration’s “strained ties with both Beijing and Riyadh” over differences, supposedly concerning “human rights and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” Reuters reported.

How The US And Saudi Crashed Crude Prices To Hurt Russia, Iran, Venezuela

In a 2014 “oil war,” the US pressured Saudi Arabia to overproduce crude and intentionally crash prices on the global market, in order to hurt the export-reliant economies of Russia, Iran, and Venezuela. The United States and Saudi Arabia waged a very important yet little-known “oil war” in 2014, which had huge geopolitical and economic consequences for the world. Washington pressured Riyadh to significantly overproduce crude and intentionally crash prices on the global market, in order to hurt the export-reliant economies of Russia, Iran, and Venezuela. Multipolarista host Ben Norton analyzed this crucial historical episode in the video above.

Saudi-Led Coalition Continues Its Seven-Year Blockade Of Yemen

According to the Houthi-led government in Yemen, the Saudi Arabia-led international coalition has intensified its comprehensive land, sea and air blockade of the country, causing increased suffering of common people. The Houthis claimed that in the last few days, Saudi forces aided by the US have seized four ships carrying crucial supplies to Yemen’s Hodeidah port. Essam al-Mutawakel, spokesperson of the Yemen Petroleum Company (YPC), tweeted on Tuesday, November 15, that one such ship named Red Ruby carrying thousands of tons of petroleum was detained and stopped from reaching the Hodeidah port by Saudi and US forces despite it having all necessary clearances by the UN verification and inspection mechanism (UNIVM) based in Djibouti.

Some Media Won’t Tell You When The Saudis Snub Biden

Last week the Saudis publicly snubbed the Biden administration. Several outlet picked up on that. The snub is significant. While lots of top U.S. bankers will take part the Biden administration will be given no chance to influence the Saudi investment plans. However, the Biden's administration main propaganda outlet, the New York Times, won't have any of that. It depicts the Saudi snub as one done by the uninvited the Biden administration. It is also lying about the Biden administration's response: Some top American business leaders area headed to the Saudi business conference. But Biden administration officials, angry over the kingdom’s stance on oil production and ties with Russia, are staying away. The Biden administration’s message to corporate America was clear: Consider the reputation of the countries you do business with.

OPEC’s Body Blow To Biden Presidency

The Joe Biden administration is swiftly establishing a narrative that the recent OPEC decision to cut oil production by two million tonnes is a geopolitical “aligning” by Saudi Arabia and Russia. It taps into the Russophobia in the Beltway and deflects attention from the humiliating defeat of President Biden’s personal diplomacy with Saudi Arabia. But it is not without basis, either. Foreign policy was reputed to be Biden’s forte but is turning out to be his nemesis. An ignominious end is not unlikely; as with Jimmy Carter, West Asia may become the burial ground of his carefully cultivated reputation. The magnitude of what is unfolding is simply staggering. Biden realizes belatedly that territorial conquests in Ukraine is not the real story but embedded in it is the economic war and within that is the energy war that has been incubating through the past eight-month period following the Western sanctions on Russia.
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