Seismic Iran-Saudi Rapprochement Isolates US

The Chinese-brokered diplomatic deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran not only opens the way for resolution of region-wide conflicts, but potentially foils U.S. Mideast designs based on Saudi-Iranian enmity, writes Joe Lauria.

King Salman greets Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Chinese Foreign Ministry)

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

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.

In Syria, Hezbollah and Iranian militias have been battling Saudi-backed jihadists for more than a decade.  The Syrian war could now come to an end.

In Yemen, U.S.-backed Saudis have been fighting the Houthi, who have been driven into a closer alliance with Iran. Obstacles to a peace deal could now have been removed.

In Iraq, reconciliation between Sunni and Shia could make the U.S. presence and influence irrelevant and unwelcomed by all sides. 

In Bahrain, Iranian-backed Shi’ites no longer in conflict with the Saudi-aligned monarchy could sideline the presence of the U.S. Fifth Fleet in a region on the mend.

And in Saudi Arabia itself, the state’s tensions with Shi’tes in the eastern oil regions should lessen.  


In short, the historic rapprochement and resumption of formal diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran could transform the Middle East.

And the United States doesn’t like it one bit.

The U.S. has depended on the Saudi-Iranian divide to pursue its interests in the region.

After this development, the U.S.-Israeli front against Iran should lose their chief Arab ally, Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are now in a position to defy U.S. economic sanctions on Iran — a nightmare for Washington.

An end to the Yemen war, which the Biden administration has been making noises about, would mean having to accept Iranian influence on the Arabian peninsula. 

An end to the war in Syria would be the death knell for the American regime change project in that country. It will put U.S. occupying forces in the east of Syria in an uncomfortable position.

And it could spell the end of covert support for some of the most vile jihadists in the region, which depended on Saudi backing.

Worst of all for the United States, China has stepped in to be the statesman the U.S. refused to be to resolve differences that have ripped the Middle East apart. That has to produce sleepless nights inside the Beltway. If anything proves that China is committed to stability in the world and the U.S. to instability, it is this deal. 

Dealing With It

John Kirby listens to a question from a reporter while waiting for the arrival of incoming Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III, at the Pentagon, Jan. 22, 2021. (DoD/Lisa Ferdinando)

The U.S. had already been alarmed by Saudi overtures to join the BRICS alliance and thereby grow closer to China and Russia. Talk about replacing the petrodollar with a petro yuan was already raising blood pressure in the District of Columbia, Arlington and Langley.

Israel reacted angrily to the announcement, saying it demonstrated Washington’s and Israel’s “weakness” towards Teheran.  “There was a feeling of U.S. and Israeli weakness and this is why the Saudis started looking for new avenues. It was clear that this was going to happen,” a senior Israeli official told reporters traveling with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as reported by Axios.

The development certainly complicates Israel’s longstanding goal to strike Iranian nuclear facilities and Washington’s plans to overthrow the Iranian government.

The U.S. has tried to put a brave face on it.

“The Saudis did keep us informed about these talks that they were having, just as we keep them informed on our engagements, but we weren’t directly involved,” said U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby. “We support any efforts to de-escalate tensions there and in the region. We think it’s in our interests, and it’s something that we worked on through our own effective combination of deterrence and diplomacy.”

But this is a diplomatic outcome the U.S. never seriously pursued. And it is costing Washington and benefiting its chief global rival.

Aaron David Miller, who served as a Middle East policy adviser at the State Department for 25 years, told NBC News: “I think it demonstrates that U.S.’s influence and credibility in that region has diminished and that there is a new sort of international regional alignment taking place, which has empowered and given both Russia and China newfound influence and status.” 

The stunning development of the Chinese-brokered normalization of ties has happened in the year since Russia intervened in the Ukrainian civil war. 

That move has sped up a process that was inching its way towards realization: namely a world in which the United States no longer calls the shots in the Middle East and elsewhere, where it is a declining power pushed to the margins of a new world arising in defiance of  its interests.  This new world led by China, Russia and India — and followed by much of Africa and Latin America — has ignored U.S. calls to sanction Russia and instead is creating a new economic and political order that is turning its back on the vestiges of Western dominance. 

What Seemed Unattainable

The idea of a Saudi-Iranian accommodation that could change the face of the region long seemed like an unattainable goal — as long as the U.S. was the powerbroker in the Middle East.  But it was a dream that some quarters, including Consortium News, long pushed for as the key to regional peace.

Gareth Porter, in a piece that appeared on CN on  Aug. 14, 2015, said:

“In an interview with National Public Radio two days later, [President Barack] Obama suggested that things could improve if Iran changed its ways: ‘[I]t is possible that as a consequence of this engagement, that as a consequence of Iran being able to recognize that what’s happening in Syria for example is leading to extremism that threatens their own state and not just the United States; that some convergence of interests begins to lead to conversations between, for example, Saudi Arabia and Iran; that Iran starts making different decisions that are less offensive to its neighbors; that it tones down the rhetoric in terms of its virulent opposition to Israel. And, you know, that’s something that we should welcome.’ … 

Both of those interviews were marked by a deliberate avoidance of any explicit admission that the United States might actually want to make any political-diplomatic moves toward cooperation with Iran. As presented by Obama, the most his administration would do is to lecture Iran on what it needed to do to correct its misbehavior. Possible positive developments were cast in terms of actions that others might take, and subsequent U.S. support for such actions.

An optimistic reading of his remarks might interpret them as veiled allusions to diplomatic aims that Obama intends to pursue: cooperation with Iran as well as Russia on a Syrian settlement, efforts to bring Iran and Saudi Arabia together and to get them to reach an accommodation. But such an interpretation would exaggerate the readiness of the Obama administration to break with the political consensus in Washington about Iran and the region.”

On June 26, 2017, I wrote for Consortium News:

“If [President Donald] Trump wanted the U.S. to act like a Great Power he would go even a step further to use American leverage to force an accommodation between the Saudis and the Iranians. Their rivalry has impacted conflicts in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrain, Afghanistan and now Qatar too.

In May, [Mohamed] bin-Salman threatened to directly attack Iran and Iran returned the threat. The Saudis and Iranians blame each other as aggressors. But neither is going anywhere. A balance of power is needed to bring stability to the region.

Instead of facilitating this, Trump is lowering the U.S. to the level of the sectarian combatants, openly siding with Sunni Riyadh while threatening Iran, thus risking an even larger regional war.”

The success of the Iranian-Saudi normalization and its effect on the Middle East remains to be seen. But it is a start that few thought they’d ever see as long as the U.S. stood in the way. 

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former U.N. correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and numerous other newspapers, including The Montreal Gazette and The Star of Johannesburg. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London, a financial reporter for Bloomberg News and began his professional work as a 19-year old stringer for The New York Times.  He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @unjoe  

45 comments for “Seismic Iran-Saudi Rapprochement Isolates US

  1. CaseyG
    March 13, 2023 at 12:59

    Did Eisenhower ruin the Iran that could have been? I remember reading something about Iran becoming a more independent and democratic nation, but that Eisenhower went in and made sure the Shah was returned to power. Who was the man that the US got rid of and why did America instead support the Shah?

    • Observer
      March 13, 2023 at 19:00

      > Who was the man that the US got rid of
      — That was Prime Minister Mossadegh
      — It was a joint UK-US operation

      > and why did America instead support the Shah?

      Because Mossadegh wanted a larger share of the profits from the sale of Iranian oil for Iran.

    • vinnieoh
      March 14, 2023 at 11:11

      In a haphazard way I’ve been educating myself on the ’53 Iranian coup (there’s also a ’53 Guatemalan coup) for at least 20yrs now. My view is that leading up to ’53 Iran had its own unique political/government structure – a balance of factions where Mosaddegh’s democratic movement was majority popular, Shia Islam was majority practice but not politically dominant, and Iranian monarchic tradition was waning but still respected. The US/UK coup against Mossadegh and the democratic governance of Iran delegitimized both democracy and the monarchy in Iran since it was obvious to Iranians what had transpired, that the Shah Reza Pahlavi was installed by the US as US puppet. That left only their Islamic framework for Iranians to fall back on for social/cultural/political cohesion. US/UK/Israel created SAVAK to terrorize “the Sha’s” enemies, which further turned Iranians against the puppet government. My view or reading of all this is that there’s a direct line of cause and effect between the ’53 coup and the ’79 Iranian Islamic Revolution.

      The Shah was the US puppet and the reason of course was the cold war; the geographic importance of Iran to the US during the cold war is obvious, and the Iranian oil was/is also important. At the time of the ’79 revolution Iran had the third largest military in the world, thanks to US/UK, Israel, and other western-aligned suppliers.

      Many of the various agencies/operatives of the US were conflicted about the coup operation in Iran, but the US followed the British lead. Mosaddegh’s democratic government was demanding Iran’s fair share of the profit from the sale of its own oil but the ancestor company of now BP – British Iranian Oil – refused. Told the Iranians to go pound sand.

  2. Vera Gottlieb
    March 13, 2023 at 11:22

    With all the pain and misery the US has inflicted world-wide…now comes ‘payback time’ and deservedly so. So many people having had to suffer so much.

  3. Anon
    March 13, 2023 at 01:19

    Several years have passed since Yuan was recognised as international trade currency.
    Newly retired, politically learning, I still Knew: HUGE development… so texted then US Rep same (no response).
    US economic hit policy is forcing change in petro trade means… its short-sightedness is staggering!
    Why would other World nations continue to be intimidated (or tricked) into acting against their own self-interest?
    Sad to say… Belt and Road offers vastly superior terms… we’ve engineered our own downfall!
    (& BTW)… tnx Joe, CN… your publication plays great part in my continuing international affairs education.

  4. bobzz
    March 12, 2023 at 21:27

    Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela—big oil countries now aligned with Russia/China. How may others oil nations are lining up?

  5. Humwawa
    March 12, 2023 at 17:35

    The US can only maintain its global hegemony and feed the MIC by divide-and-rule strategies that require its proxies to fight permanent wars.

    Soon Europeans will be the last vassals to sacrifice their interests on the altar of US imperialism.

    While the US hegemony needs permanent war, China and Russia need peace to improve the livelihood of their people.

  6. lester
    March 12, 2023 at 17:19

    Thank you, Mr. Lauria! This is great news. Both Chinese and Middle Easterm civilizations have long histories of negotiating rather than fighting. I’m very happy to see them working together to achieve a peace agreement.

    I’ve been wondering lately if our US “diplomats” ever negotiate anything, or do they they just demand “unconditional surrender”? Maybe we can learn from the older civilizations of the world.

  7. Macc
    March 12, 2023 at 16:04

    Let’s see if the Nobel Prize committee decides to regain some relevance and appearance of objectivity by giving the Peace prize to Saudi, Iranian, and Chinese diplomats/leaders.

  8. vinnieoh
    March 12, 2023 at 14:57

    Thank you, Joe, for reporting a development that surely won’t be discussed on msm. The details of what concessions or considerations both sides are willing to bring to the table will be interesting; please keep reporting on this.

    If only one out of three – Yemen, Syria, or Palestine – could be peaceably and justly resolved, it would be a great accomplishment.

    Some months ago (within the last year) it was either Lawrence Davidson or Patrick Lawrence in several pieces posted here that argued that the US needed to wake up and smell the coffee that the unipolar moment is passing/has passed, and the US would be much better served by acknowledging and accepting that fact, and instead of trying to swim against the current, to get with the flow. The essence of the argument was that, by trying to hold onto it all, the US will instead end up losing everything. The argument still runs true; none of this (what Official US insists on) has to be this way.

    The torch that Official US is carrying is for all the status quo who have become immensely wealthy and powerful and will not relinquish those gains it seems until others pry them from their cold, dead hands. Put another way: for the interests of the wealthy and powerful, Official US would throw the majority of its citizens (and much of the rest of humanity) under the bus of war – permanent conflict, or even risk nuclear obliteration.

    – liked Packard’s comment about Biden bringing people together – ha! Also, Tim just below is probably correct about the Machiavellian history of GB; when we’re assigning blame for endless decades of strife in the ME it would be difficult to overstate the machinations of the British (Israel, anyone? the ’53 coup in Iran?).

  9. LeoSun
    March 12, 2023 at 13:38

    “HOW many train wrecks do we need to see?!?”

    “As POTUS was going to Delawhere, he met a Man w/Six (6) guys; &, 2 Boats. Each GUY had a $tory; but, POTUS thinks his “STORY,” is the g.o.a.t., it’s NOT! It is f/D.O.A.” Like the Silicon Valley Bank, the SBF-FTX Crypto Con, Student Loan Debt, the Railroads, the domestic & the foreign agenda; basically, EVERYTHING Biden-Harris, is toxic, perverted, or bankrupt!!!

    “Posing as POTUS, yap’n & yell’n, “WHO in this room wants to trade places w/Xi Jinping? Name me ONE person!!!” Days later, everybody, knows One, 1) Joey Robinette Biden.

    “THERE’S A WHOLE NEW WORLD BEING FORMED. THIS WHOLE THING is blowing up in the face of the West. We forced Russia to pivot to Asia, as well as Brazil, India, China, South Africa and Saudi Arabia.” DENNIS KUCINICH, the MAN who should be “our “ forever President; like Vladimir Putin is to Russia. No doubt, we’re still looking for a LEADER!!!

    Coming in hot! BEJING or BUST! Diplomacy. Statesmanship. Respect. Common Courtesy!! Four Days of TALKS = A BIG F/WIN. No doubt, China + Iran + Saudi Arabia + Russia = A DIPLOMATIC REVOLUTION.

    The flip side, talk’n outta his …… “you know the thing,” Joey “Nobody f_ _ _ s w/a Biden” GOT his jackass handed to him, i.e., TODAY’S s Headline: “China, R I S I N G!!!” The WH IS Shake’n. Rattled. Scramble’n. Hide’N Biden-Harris.

    Biden-Harris + Their Board of Executioners + CONGRESS = MAGA FAILURES!!! On every level, in every f/nook & cranny of plant, animal, & human life.

    The Rub, “felt round the world,” the USG’s Antony Blinken, Thomas-Greenfield, Lloyd Austin, Ned Price, Victoria Nuland, John Kirby, Comma La Harris; and, “The Big Guy!” M.I.A., by design!

    “The Powers that Be,” China, on behalf of Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia will keep the WH apprised of the latest, G.O.A.T., “PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST,” Agreements brokered by XI JINPING, CHINA.

    Follows the “KRAKEN” as reported by The Hill, “Some experts have cautioned that China is beginning a new era of diplomatic engagement in the Middle East, where it before mostly had economic ties.” THE HILL, the Nation’s most warped, perverted online papers, ever, 3.12.23

    No doubt, the old, balding, frail, feeble Eagle, shuffles alone w/two right wings, tattered, torn & pissed on, feeling the wrath of the Russian Bear & the Dragon’s laser focus on the Eagle’s focus “manufacturing perception for domestic political purpose,” See “The Hill.” The WH is dying per “the times, they are a changing.” Ciao

    • Valerie
      March 13, 2023 at 04:06

      Karma on a grand scale LeoSun.

      • LeoSun
        March 13, 2023 at 10:22

        Valerie, that’s the Headline: “KARMA!!!” On A Grand Scale, ‘Fremdschämen!!!’

        The “buh-bye” line: “Houston, Peace brokered, in the Middle East, by China.” The Rub, “felt round the world,” the USG’s Antony Blinken, Thomas-Greenfield, Lloyd Austin, Ned Price, Victoria Nuland, John Kirby, Comma La Harris; and, “The Big Guy!” M.I.A., by design!

        Imo, CHRIS HEDGES’ advice puts the “Instant” in KARMA, brokered by CHINA, ”those in power making those in power feel their wrath,” i.e., “political disruption.”

        “THOSE IN POWER MUST FEEL OUR WRATH, which means constant acts of non-violent civil disobedience, social and political disruption. Organized power from below is the only power that can save us. Politics is a game of fear. It is our duty to make those in power very, very afraid.” Hedges, On Point!!! hxxps://

        TY, Valerie. “Keep it Lit!”

    • Piotr Berman
      March 13, 2023 at 09:18

      USA policies are programmed to create “train wrecks”, including domestic policies that result in more than 1000 train wrecks per year. However, literal train wrecks are subjected to the calculus of cost cutting, at some point additional safety measures cost more than copying with the wrecks. No rational calculus is applied to “train wrecks” caused by military/foreign/financial policies, and moral calculus is not applied at all.

      In the case of Iran and KSA, I think that KSA changed its attitude because of indiscriminate and large scale nature of sanctions, account freezing and confiscations invoked by USA and imposed on its allies, because KSA can well be on the receiving end. However dedicated KSA was to sectarian vendettas, they had to consider the enormous risks to themselves. India changed its position first, but this logic applies to all.

    • rosemerry
      March 14, 2023 at 04:40

      Great comment!!! I love “Comma La Harris” or even “Karma La Harris!”

  10. DD
    March 12, 2023 at 13:10

    Thanks Joe for another timely and informative article. Maybe an early nominee for understatement of the year is spokesman Kirby letting us know that the U.S. was not directly involved in the Saudi/Iranian talks.

  11. Alan
    March 12, 2023 at 12:58

    Joe, as the old saying goes: “From your mouth to God’s ear.”

    Unfortunately, I am less sanguine about the chances for Shias and Sunnis to bury the hatchets. The enmity between the two major branches of Islam go back many centuries. No doubt, there will be more than a few amongst the true believers who will resist a rapprochement, and I fear that there will be provocateurs seeking to stoke the fires of hatred. That said, I am thrilled that the leaders of the two sects have seen the wisdom of joining together in friendship (or at least in non-enmity).

      March 12, 2023 at 18:50

      The article is based on the word “could.” At least there is a chance now. Shia and Sunni have not always been at odds.

      • Valerie
        March 13, 2023 at 03:59

        As witnessed in Iraq before the US/UK invasion.

        • Randal Marlin
          March 13, 2023 at 21:55

          Yes. As an example, read the testimony of the very articulate young Iraqi known as “Riverbend” who published two volumes of reports about experiences in Iraq following the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. She describes family gatherings where religious differences were commonly restrained by greater concerns for harmony, sometimes in funny ways. With tongue very much in cheek, she proposed Ahmed Chalabi (the U.S.-favoured puppet in occupied Iran) for the Nobel peace prize. Her reason was that in family groups political discussions could get very heated, with yelling and shouting. But a few words at the right moment could erase the heated division.
          All someone had to do was utter a few words, as if the thought had just occurred.
          “You know who’s really bad? Ahmed Chalabi. He’s such a lowlife and villain.”
          In Riverbend’s words: “Voila. Like magic the air clears, eyebrows are raised in agreement and all arguing parties suddenly unite to confirm this very valid opinion with nodding heads, somewhat strained laughter and charming anecdotes about his various press appearances and ridiculous sense of fashion. We’re all friends again, and family once more. We’re all lovey-dovey Iraqis who can agree nicely with each other. In short, we are at peace with each other and the world … And that is why Ahmed Chalabi deserves the Nobel Peace prize.”
          (Baghdad Burning II, 65-66.”

    • March 13, 2023 at 11:28

      Alan – Your comment has a couple of misrepresentations. Shias and Sunnis have not been enemies for centuries. That is an orientalist trope just when they propagate “like Islam was spread by the sword”. Sure there are differences and occasional battles but that has not been the norm until colonial powers started to divide and rule. 2nd error: Saudi rulers are not leaders of Sunni sect. They just happen to rule over the land with two of the holiest sites in Islam but they are not the ruler of Sunni sect. Infact Saudi has a very tiny % of the population of Sunnis. Indonesia alone has 8 times more Sunnis than in Saudi. However, I agree with your general sentiment that some factions will stoke the fires to promote hatred and keep them divided. We are a long way away. I don’t believe Israel will leave this alone.

    • evelync
      March 13, 2023 at 16:17

      RE: The friction between the Shia and Sunni people, that you mention in your comment.
      I found it interesting that after our vicious “Shock and Awe” was perpetrated on Iraq, we somehow succeeded in whipping up sectarian violence in Iraq (as we seem to always like to do – see below), an Iraqi woman was asked by a reporter how she viewed things. She said that she was married to a man who was of the “opposing” sect. (One of them was Shia and one was Sunni.)
      She said that Iraqis in Bagdad saw themselves first as Iraqi’s – way down the line they saw themselves as Sunni’s or Shia. She said there were many mixed marriages.
      She said our war on them created the friction.

      That’s what we seem to help foment… may wish to check out Brian Berletic on “The New Atlas” on YouTube and maybe other channels – he’s analyzed this for several countries we meddle in, for example:
      he talks of our color revolutions and building up friction and division to replace governments so we can move in and remake the country to serve our “interests”.
      We pay $80Billion a year for a State Dept with 75,000+ people who seem to be plotting all over the globe to interfere in other countries.
      That’s why, I think, we can’t afford M4A, upgraded infrastructure, modern rail systems like some of the other powers in this multipolar world.
      We’ve been had.
      Congratulations to Joe Lauria for having recognized years ago that we could have been the adults in the room and taken the initiative to solve all the friction in the ME.
      But that’s not the style of what Bob Parry called the Family War business – Victoria Nuland, her husband, her brother-in-law, her sister-in-law and the rest of our DC war institutes….

      The adults in the room are tired of being bullied and seem to be allying to craft a multipolar world whose goals (according to what they profess are the goals of the BRICS and SCO) is cooperation and respect for the sovereignty of all countries big and small.
      They are crafting trading mechanisms in their own currencies, sidestepping the PETRO$ in order to protect themselves from our bullying shenanigans. I see this possibility as our only hope to avoid a catastrophic end.

      Interesting that a State Senator, Eric Brakey from Maine, was tweeting stuff that none of our U.S. Senators dare say about the tragic war we fomented in Ukraine. He must read CN and pay attention to the reports outside the MSM….

      I hope this ends well.
      Sad that Bob Parry didn’t live to see this development. He sure put in the work to analyze the critical destabilizing, unsustainable ugliness and corruption in our foreign policy.

  12. Tim
    March 12, 2023 at 11:44

    Who does the USA work for in reality is the British-Venice Financial Empire, When Washington goes down the British will be left standing with their Financial empire intact, Washington is a proxy for the British. Know who is your enemy is in order to win.

    • Jams O'Donnell
      March 12, 2023 at 15:15

      Delusional. UK capitalism is a minnow compared to the US. The UK has not been a significant power in the world since Suez – militarily, politically or financially. In fact financially, the UK has not been a significant power since WWI, and after WWII the UK was bankrupted by the US through its lend-lease debt. The idea that Britain is wagging the US dog is risible. Sure, there are significant UK capitalist concerns such as BAE Systems, but they are a minority, and pale in comparison to Boeing and Lockheed Douglas.

      “Know who is your enemy is in order to win”. The Iranians know what is what – they correctly identify ‘the Great Satan’ and ‘the Little Satan’ – respectively the US and UK.

      • March 12, 2023 at 23:38

        The City of London, along with its off-shore, dark-money feeders, is still a major global financial player. You might want to watch online the freely available documentary “The Spider’s Web: Britain’s Second Empire.”

        • Alan
          March 14, 2023 at 12:51

          It’s true, the City of London is to the UK what Wall Street is to the US, and both financial centers are interconnected. How could they not be? But as an economic power, the UK is a has-been. The important distinction here is between the real economy and finance.

  13. mgr
    March 12, 2023 at 11:25

    Great report. American’s foreign policy is consistently one of sacrificing the lives and livelihoods of local populations, ordinary people and families in places like Yemen, Afghanistan Syria, and of course, Ukraine, for America’s quick buck. Of course, they do get nice buttons and fliers that proclaim the Western love of freedom and democracy. So there is that…

  14. rgl
    March 12, 2023 at 11:02

    “We support any efforts to de-escalate tensions there and in the region. We think it’s in our interests, and it’s something that we worked on through our own effective combination of deterrence and diplomacy.”


    The US has looked to dominate the region – for it’s regional ally, Israel – for decades. It has usurped any attempt to find peace in the ME. It, and Israel, have caused more death and destruction in the region than ISIS ever could. Does one not find it suspicious that the very enemy in the region the US says it is fighting is the self-same ideologues it created to fight Damascus.

    I forget who said it: “Absolute power corrupts absolutely”. That is the place the US finds itself. Having enjoyed it’s unipolar moment – 1945 to present – it is now among the more (dare I say most) corrupted place on earth.

    Those who applaud China’s diplomacy in the ME – a Chinese diplomatic coup – may not still be applauding when, not if, China supplants the US as THE major power on this rock. Do you believe the Chinese are immune to the same corrupting forces that is bringing the US down? I don’t.

  15. Robert Emmett
    March 12, 2023 at 11:00

    Write on, Joe L., continuing the tradition set by CN’s founder to look beyond the front edge of the status quo view.

    Can’t be certain, of course. But perhaps a u.S. weaponized response to this development (just to cover all its bases, mind you) might be the emplacement of more “defensive” missile batteries in the Philippines to “defend” this time against possible incoming Saudi strikes (with missiles the u.S. sold them?).

    btw I miss seeing Gareth Porter’s articles here at CN

  16. IJ Scambling
    March 12, 2023 at 10:54

    Much appreciate the enthusiasm and the regional sweep of this article. It would seem encouraging for Palestine also, with this maneuvering from its long-time friend China. It’s very interesting that hard upon all the talk and sabre-rattling of the US over Taiwan China has stepped into the middle east as peacemaker. Momentum and credibility do not lie with “the West.”

  17. Bruce Edgar
    March 12, 2023 at 10:26

    Ever since Vietnam, I have longed for the American empire’s demise. This hope has been dashed again and again ever since…until now. Joe Biden can now be seen as a savior of sorts–a bumbling savior. I am reminded of his three simultaneous stumbles of the staircase of Air Force One during his first weeks as President. Elderly myself, I would never mock a stumble by the aged. Never. And yet, this image all by itself symbolizes the endless sequence of mis-steps since he assumed the Presidency.

    There’s definitely a silver lining in the fact that we are losing our influence abroad. He has publicly described various heads of state as murderers. He has rekindled the Cold War. He has antagonized a growing number of Europeans with his self costly sanctions. He’s paved the way for BRICS, for a multi polar world to emerge. He has ransacked our treasury for yet another substantial American failure–this time in Ukrasine. The list goes on.

    Single handedly, he and his administration have pulled away the curtain cloaking the American Wizard off Oz.

    Thank you Joe! Just keep your finger off the red button while we fall.

    • evelync
      March 13, 2023 at 18:05

      yes, as a elderly person myself, I too find that the bumbler/bully in chief seems to have done an expert job of exposing himself and who he and this government really work for. Not the vast majority of the people in this country or any other country….

      I agree with all you wrote and perhaps if you’re close to my age you might remember the original Star Trek and the naughty alien child TRULANE who terrorizes the Star Ship crew until his disembodied parents call out to him to stop what he’s doing and come home.
      The BRICS and the SCO remind me of those parents.

      One hopes that the adults in the room – those countries who are trying to fashion a multi-polar world of cooperation and respect, as they say, can succeed in shifting away from the PETRO$ quickly enough to save the vulnerable countries and their peoples from more punishing sanctions and violence….

      Too bad there’s no one in government who’s been courageous enough to call out the warmongers for their reckless costly behavior.

      I remember that Russ Feingold was the only Senator to vote against the Patriot Act and he also fought against Citizens United.

      He had courage and integrity.
      So did Senator Paul Wellstone

  18. peter mcloughlin
    March 12, 2023 at 10:25

    What comes of this “remains to be seen”. The overall pattern predicts another world war. Unfortunately, the development doesn’t stop this.

    • Piotr Berman
      March 13, 2023 at 16:04

      Whatever you think about KSA, it is one of largest exporters, and a large not-so-western economy. Countries position themselves as the West initiated a world war in finance and sanctions, lecturing all and sundry that “neutrality is immoral”.

      Western calculations about their influence were woefully wrong: put little flags on the globe with colors “under control” and “enemies” with plans to isolate and ruin enemies and put more “under control” flags. Divide and conquer strategy, moron edition. Be them vile or idealistic, countries do not want to be “under control”. For all their efficiency and convenience, one USD and Euro financial systems became primarily control instruments, other countries have big incentive to avoid them: there is currency risk, interest rate risk and confiscation risk, the latter exploding.

      It would be good news if erratic KSA leaders would turn toward resolving conflicts in which they participate, even better news if the West properly analyzed the news. Fomenting conflicts and paranoia, favorite occupation of Western strategists, is not as reliable as in the past, do they have plan B? For now, none to be seen, but perhaps, may be, who knows.

  19. gcw919
    March 12, 2023 at 10:21

    One can only hope that this accord is a prelude to many more. Perhaps it might even be possible for major powers to find the capacity to cooperate on issues like Climate Change, instead of squandering countless billions on weapons and more war (witness the lunacy of Australia getting ready to acquire billion-dollar nuclear subs).

  20. Packard
    March 12, 2023 at 08:03

    Well, say this much. Joe Biden did promise to bring people together.

    Who knew, however, the people he was taking about all lived in China, Russia, Iran, and now Saudi Arabia?

    • Susan Siens
      March 12, 2023 at 13:40


  21. Eric Arthur Blair
    March 12, 2023 at 07:38

    This is a HUGE event, which the mainstream media sewer outlets will likely ignore, play down or distort.
    Outstanding, well reasoned analysis here:
    China’s role as a global peacemaker is a threat, threat, threat to the US business model – which requires perpetual warfare.
    Therefore the “inevitable” thing is to go to war against China by 2025.
    Of course, none of those neoconartist chickenshit armchair warmongering psychopaths will ever put themselves or their offspring at physical risk. They will goad poor people and gormless proxies to their deaths in order to serve Raytheon’s profits, as usual. Gotta love neoliberal capitalism.

  22. John R Moffett
    March 12, 2023 at 07:28

    It took a much longer time that it should have, but much of the world now realizes that the US just uses other countries and then discards them when not needed anymore. Or, the US causes political troubles only to send in the military to deal with the problem that we caused in the first place. Or, we just put sanctions on a country for doing things the US has done repeatedly. Or, we might just blow up a pipeline if we don’t like who it is connected to. In other words, the US is the least reliable ally that you could possibly try to hook up with. Also the most dangerous. As Henry Kissinger said: “To be an enemy of the US can be dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal”. Notice the distinction between “can be” and “is”. I am sure Kissinger was being very precise in his wording there.

    • Valerie
      March 12, 2023 at 11:43

      Well defined John. Mexico has it pretty much covered (thanks to donald dump) but Canada might be well advised to consider closing its border and erecting a wall to stop the hordes of refugees teeming over from the socially/economically/politically outcast USA,USA,USA. LOL

  23. Valerie
    March 12, 2023 at 06:40

    From the article:

    “And the United States doesn’t like it one bit.”

    Well as they say in southern Russia – “tough shitsky y’all”

    (I’d love to be a fly on the wall in the WH these days.)

  24. KiwiAntz62
    March 12, 2023 at 04:54

    Russia & China have handed America another humiliating defeat, this time using diplomacy? Make no mistake this Saudi-Iranian Peace deal is a joint Russian Chinese initiative with Russia letting China get all the credit for this huge deal! It’s classic Russian Clausewitz’s strategy of conducting War, using kinetic warfare such as the conflict in Ukraine & doing diplomacy, both at the same time? The World, that is the Global South Nations & Middle East has has had enough of the American bullies bossing everyone around, it’s OVER for the US Empire. Biden & his disastrous Administration has singlehandedly ushered in its demise by weaponising the USD, Economic Sanction Warfare, theft of Russia’s Central bank Reserves & blowing up the Nordstream pipelines in the greatest act of Terrorism ever committed! All these actions have shown the World that the US has gone insane, is out of control & can’t be trusted, it’s a unreliable partner & Global Leader that’s creating chaos & conflicts around the Globe & that it must be brought to heel & dragged, kicking & screaming into the Multipolar World it will never again dominate! The US is determined to not go gently into that good night as it rages against the dying of the light, so this transition will be the most dangerous period in World History as we change from a Unipolar World to a Multipolar one? Russia & China know this and understand they have a responsibility to the Human race to ensure the US gets ushered into this New World order without it turning into a Nuclear War, hopefully saner minds in America will prevail but I personally can’t see it, the US Leadership & POTUS is crazy & they would rather destroy the World than let Russia or China prevail?

    • Roger Huddleston
      March 12, 2023 at 08:36

      Well said.

      Look for America & the occupiers of Palestine to foment more war as they are ushered into the dustbin of history.

      The people who run / control America are Evil. Destroy and deceive is what they do. Destruction is the core of their essence.

    • JonnyJames
      March 12, 2023 at 18:28

      It seems like, wittingly or not, US policy is something akin to “the Samson option”. If the US does not prevail, the US will destroy everything it can, or even launch first strike nuclear attacks. First strike is official doctrine. We hope “cooler heads” prevail, or as you say, saner minds is more accurate. I’m no psychologist, but many people in power have serious mental disorders.

    • Pcamus
      March 12, 2023 at 22:02

      Agreed! As you well know, the only way the win in chess when you are on the verge of being checkmated is to throw the board across the room

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