This month’s surprise announcement that China brokered the restoration of diplomatic relations between longtime rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia prompted widespread excitement in Beijing and considerable consternation among U.S. conservatives. The implication for both is that China’s role in the process symbolized the decline of U.S. influence in the region.
Not so says Mohammed Soliman, one of the leading Arab political analysts in Washington, D.C. based at the Middle East Institute and also a manager at McLarty Associates Middle East North Africa Program. Mohammed joins Eric to explain why he thinks the U.S. should not overreact and what lessons policymakers should take from what happened.
- Foreign Policy: How China’s Saudi-Iran Deal Can Serve U.S. Interests by Michael McFaul
- The Hill: Why Saudi snub of Biden on China-Iran deal may help US relations by Laura Kelly and Brad Dress
- Politico: U.S. officials project calm as China stuns world with Iran-Saudi deal by Phelim Kline and Nahal Toosi
About Mohammed Soliman:
Mohammed Soliman is the director of MEI’s Strategic Technologies and Cyber Security Program, and a Manager at McLarty Associates’ Middle East and North Africa Practice. His work focuses on the intersection of technology, geopolitics, and business in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Mohammed frequently appears on Arabic- and English-language television to provide commentary on unfolding events in the Middle East. A native of Cairo, Mohammed started his career as an engineer and worked as a consultant, providing strategic advisory services for local and international businesses. In Washington, DC, he has also served as a country analyst for the Peace Tech Lab at the US Institute of Peace, as a Huffington Fellow at Georgetown’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, and as a Junior Centennial Fellow at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service.