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Amid Breathless News Coverage of the Chinese-Brokered Iran-Saudi Arabia Pact, Some Analysts Urge a More Cautious Approach

Iranian and Saudi Arabian negotiators finalized a settlement on Friday to restore diplomatic relations in a deal brokered by China. Image via Xinhua.

While the bulk of the discussion in the news media and on Twitter about the resumption of diplomatic ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia focused on the magnitude of the deal — both in terms of the impact on Mideast politics and because of China’s surprise role as mediator — some commentators also urged everyone to step back, take a breath and reserve judgement.

First, they noted that the deal was negotiated by Iranian and Saudi Arabian security officials, not the countries’ diplomats. This should prompt consideration as to whether key internal stakeholders on both sides are truly ready to put aside decades of mistrust.

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