Iran and Saudi Arabia Set Sail on the Relation-Ship: The normalisation deal and the impacts for region



14 April, 2023

With the start of Spring we also saw the start of new diplomatic relationships being born. 

After years of intense rivalry, and to the surprise of many, Iran and Saudi Arabia announced that they had normalised relations. 

The two countries hadn't been on speaking turns since the Saudis executed a Shia cleric in 2016, and Iranian protesters had responded by burning down the embassy. 

With the restorations of relations, a new future awaits the two countries, which is likely to have a big impact on the region. 

Additionally, the deal was highly notably due to the involvement of China, who brokered the deal, and had the deal signed in their capital. 

This week on The New Arab Voice, we ask why have they chosen to normalise now? What is each side getting from the deal? And what’s the significance of China brokering the deal?

Joining us to discuss Iran and Saudi Arabia, is  Vali Nasr, (@vali_nasr) Professor of International Affairs and Middle East Studies at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies; and Dr. Kristian Coates Ulrichsen (@Dr_Ulrichsen), Fellow for the Middle East at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.


This podcast is written and produced by Hugo Goodridge.

Theme music by Omar al-Fil. 

Other music by Blue Dot Sessions.

To get in touch with the producers, follow then tweet us at @TheNewArabVoice or email