Sunni and Shia will probably wage on-again off-again war until the end of time, but the Iran-Saudi deal looks like the start of a substantial off-again period. From F.M. Shakil at thecradle.co:
The Beijing-brokered rapprochement between Tehran and Riyadh is expected to have significant implications for peace and prosperity in and around West Asia, given the considerable influence the two nations wield in the region.
Photo Credit: The Cradle
The China-mediated Saudi-Iran peace agreement, inked on 10 March in Beijing, marks a significant geopolitical shift with far-reaching implications for the Persian Gulf and Iran’s neighboring countries. For decades, Saudi Arabia and Iran have been engaged in ideological and economic competition on the territories of their neighbors, causing regional tensions to escalate.
If the agreement is successful and relations between Riyadh and Tehran improve as envisioned, tensions will likely begin to significantly subside in the Persian Gulf, Levant, and further afield in neighboring Pakistan and Afghanistan. The former, long concerned about its security and energy supply vulnerabilities, will potentially benefit from improved relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which could help address its oil and gas crises.
Similarly, Afghanistan, whose Taliban-led government is still struggling to gain international recognition and is in dire need of reconstruction and investment initiatives, may also benefit from the kingdom’s rapprochement with the Islamic Republic.
Persian Gulf States
An early litmus test for the Saudi-Iranian reconciliation will be its impact on Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, where a perceived proxy war has wreaked havoc on their respective economies and in their public spheres.