Five days with Wang Yi: winners and losers + update
After five days of tough discussions with super negotiator Wang Yi, Iran and The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia buries the battle-ax, resume relations and place their signatures where it matters.
This is not a complete and comprehensive agreement, but comprehensive enough as a start. What we see in the press is mainly the part where they agree to exchange ambassadors and re-establish embassies within two months and enhance bilateral relations. What is more important is the resumption or re-activation of an older security cooperation agreement signed in 2001 and the trade, economy, and investment agreement signed in 1998.
There are problems that the sides will have to overcome. Interpretations of Islam are different and the two major events that scuppered relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran were the execution of Nimr al-Nimr, a Shia cleric, and the 2016 attack on the Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran. Some forgiveness will have to be reached. Both countries have leadership aspirations for the area. Iran has been an example of how to say no to empire, while Saudi Arabia worked with the empire. This may have a lesser impact now after the major Chinese-Saudi agreements and partnership reached in December 2022.
China – this is a major diplomatic victory and the timing cannot be more fortuitous. Xi Jinping has just been elected as leader of China for a 3rd term, unanimously. China has long expressed the hope that it can take a leading role in establishing peace via negotiations and dialogue. The Chinese Peace Plan for Russia and Ukraine was but a first step. Now China has confirmed that they are not only talking, but they are fully able to launch their boat, named dialogue, in a positive manner to create peaceful outcomes.
Director of China’s Office of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission, Wang Yi, said the talks were a victory for dialogue and peace.
“This is a victory for dialogue, a victory for peace, offering major good news at a time of much turbulence in the world,” the Chinese foreign ministry cited Wang as saying at the close of the dialogue.
“As a good-faith and reliable mediator, China has faithfully fulfilled its duties as the host,” Wang said.
China would continue to play a constructive role in handling issues in the world and demonstrate its responsibility as a major nation, he added.
Iran and Saudi Arabia – are winners, both of them, but it is not going to be easy. After +- 40 years of enmity between the two, it will take some grit and resolute determination to actually make it so, to fulfill these agreements. Yet, the upside for the region is huge. They are neighbors and should cooperate. We hope China maintains the proverbial orchestral baton and maintains involvement. They did co-sign.
The World – not only in economic terms (because the US Dollar will not be used in trade) but in setting an example as to how the rifts between countries can be healed. We know that these rifts are the ones that are exploited by the hegemon. So, a big door has been closed for hegemonic interference. Iran is the greatest winner here.
The Multipolar March – BRICS+ – Both countries will soon join BRICS. Forgive me, but in certain aspects of our worldly lives, size matters.
A new, fair, and non-exploitative economic system is a massive winner here.
The oil and derivative global engine can only gain if these two countries can cooperate.
Yemen, Iraq, Syria and perhaps other devastated countries in the region? It remains to be seen. Who will China choose next for their dialogue and peace initiative?
There is an open path now for Belt and Road in the region.
The US Dollar. Alternative currencies will be used for trade and there will be trade because no matter how one looks at the situation, trade must be there as it is life-blood.
Sanctions are a loser and will disappear. Saudi Arabia and Iran has both a land border, as well as a maritime border. They do not need to deal in US Dollars and they do not need to deal in long land or maritime journeys. Saudi Arabia is not sanctioned (yet), and simple cross-border trade will benefit Iran in a real way. As Iran is in the process of establishing a maritime base in Panama and are friends with Venezuela, who have re-established ties with Brazil, this infrastructure may become available to Saudi Arabia. The system that keeps sanctions alive has had a death knell with this event.
The collective west has just lost its major regional partner, Saudi Arabia, and they have also lost Iran in the sense of losing their favorite enemy in the region.
Israel is the biggest loser boob in a room full of losers. The Iranian voice anti-Israel can only be amplified now and the two sides have a security agreement.
This was a huge surprise for the world and kudus to China, Saudi Arabia, and Iran for keeping this under wraps until an announcement could be made. Image a Hollywood scene: Top US State Department guy walks into a high-level meeting with high-level state department staff, full of self-confidence, spiffy suit, chest out, chin up, and two staffers running after him to cement his importance. He sits down saying: “So, how do we play this!” Only to be met with big confused eyes and nervous silence. Some lesser important fellow from way back in the hierarchy at the lesser important end of the table says with a squeaky nervous voice: “We bomb them? ” Cue the movie makers …
However, this is not a slam dunk. Let’s take a look at the photos and there are not many:
And let’s look at some western reaction from the informal chat. These comments are not unrealistic from western eyes.
- Western analysts: “Multipolar alliances are nonsense. There is far too much division in the non-Western world to create anything like an alternative.”
- BRICS? Don’t let us laugh. Brazil’s population is 20x that of Belgium. And it’s landmass is also bigger by multitudes. And still the economy is only 3x bigger. Meanwhile both South Africa and Brazil have tens of millions who live in slums. South Africa has daily blackouts.
There may be hope yet. From The American Conservative, which is a conservative publication, this: “We are experiencing the death throes of the United States’ unipolar hegemony over large parts of world. Until citizens begin to realize the magnitude of their government’s policy deceptions, it will become increasingly difficult to understand the United States’ changing global position and adjust to the effects of the growing negative perception of our country held by many people around the world.” There may be a recognition dawning that the US must take their toys and go home, and build their own country, not on the backs of others.
Although the multipolar world is frothing with joy and the Arab world hails this event, we have a long way to go. But perhaps we can now welcome the new nomenclature, West Asia, into our lexicon with pomp and circumstance. And perhaps we can also say we are not yet at the pinnacle of multi-polarity, but still walking up the slope of a very steep mountain.
UPDATE: A friend sent another photograph where one can see some joy.
Brazil (Lula da Silva) + 240 representatives ✈March 23, 2023
In Moscow, Xi and Putin bury Pax AmericanaMarch 22, 2023
Brian Berletic: The US has been waging a violent proxy war against ChinaMarch 22, 2023
Lineaments of Multipolar World Rising: Africa and Russia harmonize (Part 5)March 18, 2023
Rostislav Ishchenko: A view on ChinaMarch 18, 2023
Valdai Club: Sanctions on RussiaMarch 6, 2023
Russia and China: What’s next after Wang Ji’s visitFebruary 23, 2023
China: Global Security InitiativeFebruary 21, 2023
CGTN exclusive: Pres. Raisi: China and IranFebruary 19, 2023
From China to IsraelJanuary 29, 2023
this is a balanced reflection of what happened, thx. China is the huge winner.. it really is entering center stage on its multiaxial peace platforms, albeit in this case Russia did much of the legwork but gave China the full credit. The West is not only being upstaged, it is… Read more »
Oh Patrushev is alive .. not only does he have a good grin, but a good laugh as well. Look at that one of him just behind Putin.
Lol! His grimace actually reached the eyes in that photo.. yes, I agree he can have a nice smile and is a cultured and humane person, but he has not had much occasion to smile in recent decades due to the west. Muscle memory was long lost.. he may get lucky… Read more »
What an excellent summary, Amarynth. My only comment is that arguably even the PPP system of comparing the GDP output of these blocs doesn’t do the true comparison justice. Given that the western countries include huge volumes of non-productive financial transactions from their largely FIRE-based economies in the calculation, this… Read more »
We are truly going to learn what a real economy is all about, and fast! And it is not going to be a sweet lesson for much of the world.
Col, this chart needs no extrapolation and will warm your heart! Even by PPP, it appears they crossed paths (for good) in 2016… I just used it in part 5
There is a notable article on PressTV: Iran-Saudi deal ushers in a post-America era in Persian Gulf region
was catching up on MKB – what a doozer. Isn’t he a joy?! How fortunate we are to have such a retired luminary along for this ride. He reminds gently, while this ceremony was being held in Beijing.. an expansive Uncle Lavrov was hosting his royal Saudi counterpart! Can you… Read more »
Saudi Foreign Minister: “I look forward to meeting with the Iranian Foreign Minister.” Faisal bin Farhan: “The principle of international relations is to have diplomatic relations between countries, and this is strengthened in the case of two neighboring countries, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran,… Read more »