German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in November 2022

Germany's Scholz Welcomes Restoration Of Saudi-Iran Ties

Monday, 03/13/2023

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz welcomed the agreement by Saudi Arabia and Iran to re-establish ties, but did not comment on China's role in brokering the deal.

"It is good that Saudi Arabia and Iran want to develop a less confrontational relationship with each other, and that is what can be said about it," Scholz said at a news conference on Monday alongside Bhutan's prime minister, Lotey Tshering.

Scholz's remark was one of the first by Western leaders regarding an agreement signed in Beijing on March 10, whereby Tehran and Riyadh agreed to reestablish diplomatic relations after seven years of hostility. China played the role of a broker and apparently a guarantor of the deal.

Iranian officials and media have widely portrayed the agreement as a huge defeat for the United States and Israel in the Middle East and the ascendance of China as a superior power in the Middle East.

Relations between Western states and Iran have deteriorated in the past six months and long-running negotiations over Tehran's nuclear issue came to a deadlock last September. A harsh crackdown on protests by the Iranian regime and its supply of killer drones to Russia worsened relations.

China and Europe, both dependent on oil imports, can benefit from lack of conflict in the Persian Gulf region.

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