Saudi-Iran deal brokered by China a testimony to the failure of the current U.S Administration

The recently brokered peace deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia by China has been claimed to have reshaped the geopolitical landscape of the West Asian region. The United States, which has for decades remained the largest influential force in the region, was by many standards bypassed in the peace deal that aims to resolve the underlying tensions between two of the most influential players in the region.

China, which is amongst the largest importer of oil from both Iran and Saudi, until recently had for many years remained a secondary influence in the region due to the U. S’s dominations in the middle-east. The deal therefore not only projects the power China has gained through its diplomatic endeavour but is also a testimony to the failure of the present sitting administration in the United States.

Washington’s spiralling relations with Tehran has also prevented it from having any space for diplomatic engagements, the result being that it had little leverage in being part of the deal that was recently announced. This has also been fuelled by the U. S’s allegation that Iran has been supplying Russia with drones and enhancing Moscow’s offensive capabilities against Ukraine in the ongoing war. Moreover, the pushback against the death of a woman protestor during her arrest has also caused severe debacles in both the countries scope for engagement.

Above and apart from its turbulent relations with Tehran, since the Biden administration took over, it has been on a constant spat with its Saudi counterparts who have been Washington’s long-lasting ally in the West Asian region. A missile and a drone attack on the oil processing facilities in eastern Saudi Arabia operated by the state-owned Aramco by the Houthi rebels, in 2019 caused friction between the U.S administration and the Saudi’s due to the inaction that Washington embarked upon. The attack also led to the suspension of around 5% of the world’s daily crude oil production causing oil prices to rise significantly in the global economy. Matters turned worse when the Saudi government resisted American pressure in reducing oil prices to increase production capacity due to sanctions on Russian crude oil. Since then, Riyadh is understood to have realised the fractured relations with the U.S and seek other measures to resolve its regional tensions. A

negligible effort by the current administration also has a significant amount of blame to share for providing the Chinese space for promoting its global image as a mediator, which more or less shadows its aggressive nature at territorial boundaries across its land.

The existing vacuum thus is clearly seemed to have been filled by the Chinese who brokered the ‘historic’ deal between the two rival countries. Although, least to state, the fulfilment of the deal is yet to reach its pinnacle conclusion and only a roadmap has been agreed upon, the optics of Beijing presiding over such a proposed plan is surely a reflection of the failure of U.S in leading such a deal even when it is still considered by many analysts to have significant influence globally let alone in the region.

The deal also comes after there have been calls from significant global actors to prevent Tehran from building its nuclear capabilities beyond a permissible limit. However, Iran has been accelerating its nuclear program mostly due to the failure in reviving the 2015 deal aiming to limit Iran nuclear expansion.

Apart from limiting Iran’s nuclear ambit, the U.S administration should have actively been attempting to seek a peaceful resolution to the Yemen war that had been drawn down to a proxy war between the Saudi and the Iranians. The failure in acting up to its global position therefore is also seen by many as the precise reason for the fall of its great power position globally. This is also mostly to do with the current left0centric administrations neglect in focusing on regions that prove vital for the global economy as a whole.

Although it is calibrated that a peaceful region is in the interests of all- China’s involvement makes the destabilised region a ground for Beijing to showcase its hegemonic characteristics in the future. This not only means it will overtake Washington as an influential force in the region but will also promote its own authoritative developmental model leaving little space for the values democracies imbibe within their political structures.

West Asia for decades has been riling under constant tensions due to their rich natural resource that has more often than not been the cause for concern. With the withdrawal of the U.S as a major power in the region due to China’s growing economic and political expansion, it can only be stated that an alternative axis to Washington’s global position is emerging that seeks to challenge the power that such a position inculcates. Therefore, a
misguided foreign policy approach by both Washington and its strategic ally’s is going to cause further concessions to the emerging axis that only seeks to takeover the dominant position in the global hierarchy that exists today. As a result, greater collaborative efforts can be seen on the way between the Saudi kingdom and China which in its own right is expanding its power influence by proving itself to be a reliable partner unlike the United States that has only proved otherwise in the past two years. Hence, a foreign policy method that integrates instead of isolates is the need of the hour, for if not, the emerging powers will push further in terms of gaining significant influence in regions that have historically been influenced by great powers of the world.