Saudi Arabia Renews Diplomatic Ties With Iran With Help From China

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Saudi Arabia and Iran have reached an agreement to begin normalizing relations after over seven years of tense rivalry and they were helped by an unlikely country: China. The agreement stipulates that each country will reopen their respective embassies and dispatch ambassadors.  The surprise announcement came over the weekend and gives China and Chinese President Xi Jinping a new legitimacy in its role in the Middle East where the U.S. is perceived to be withdrawing its influence.  The agreement is seen as a blow to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia.  Despite the agreement however, there still seems to be no long-term resolution of the differences between Saudi Arabia and Iran which has some experts questioning how effective the agreement will be in the long term.