A Saudi source with knowledge of the details of the Chinese led negotiations between the Kingdom and Iran has confirmed that the agreement between the two countries was a continuation of previous rounds of talks which started in Iraq in 2021.
As for the Chinese involvement, the source revealed President Xi Jinping expressed an interest in China being the bridge to help resolve the conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, during his visit to Riyadh last December – an initiative which was welcomed by Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The Saudi source said last Friday’s breakthrough took five days of intense negotiations in Beijing - which continued “night and day” covering three main pillars. The first pillar was a respect of sovereignty of regional countries. Second, the restoration of diplomatic ties within the next two months, which gives both countries time to review and finalize details, and also work on the logistics of resending diplomats.
The third was the revival of previously agreed bilateral treaties between Iran and Saudi Arabia, including a 2001 security agreement, which was signed at the time by the late Saudi interior minister Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz and his counterpart at the time, Hassan Rohani.
The Saudi source made it clear that the restoration of diplomatic ties does not mean the end to all disputes yet.
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Praising China, he said Beijing had a unique position in the negotiations and that this agreement fell within Chinese economic and geopolitical interests. He said that many (observers) underestimate the large dependency Iran has on China, which he said is one of the only two ‘friends’ Tehran has in the world (the other being Russia).
Other details revealed that both Riyadh and Tehran have agreed to a bilateral commitment of nonaggression, including military, intelligence and cyber, nor will they assist others or allow their land to be used to wage such attacks.
In addition, a trilateral high level committee (which includes China) will meet periodically to follow up on the implementation of agreement. The source also said discussions in Beijing didn’t include any talks about topics involving oil or nuclear issues.