Saudi Arabia officials look eager to start investment in Iran after the fresh agreement, according to local financial authorities.
The Saudi Arabian finance minister suggests that investments by Riyadh in Iran may take place “quite soon” when a diplomatic rapprochement is reached. “Iran offers several chances for Saudi investors. As long as the conditions of any deal are upheld, we don’t see any obstacles” Mohammed Al-Jadaan declared at the Financial Sector Conference in Saudi Arabia.
After discussions in Beijing, Iran and Saudi Arabia decided last week to restore diplomatic relations and reopen their embassies following their years-long hostilities.
In a separate interview, Al-Jadaan also emphasized on potential security cooperation saying, “stability in the region is very important, for the world and for the countries in the region, and we have always said that Iran is our neighbor and we have no interest to have a conflict with our neighbors, if they are willing to cooperate.”
Saudi Arabia has no justification for avoiding investment in Iran. Tehran, on the other hand, may have preferences over the way this investment may break out after some years.
After four days of previously unannounced negotiations between senior authorities from both countries in China, the agreement was revealed.
Saudi Investment Appetite
Another Saudi source claimed separately that Beijing has power over Iran and that Tehran will struggle to justify its actions if it violates the deal it reached in Beijing.
The person, anonymously quoted by Reuters, claimed Beijing is in a unique situation since it enjoys great connections with both Tehran and Riyadh. “Because China is both of their top trading partners, leverage is crucial in this context. Moreover, because we are increasing mutual trust, this pledge should be made in front of Chinese leaders.”
After its embassy in Tehran was besieged amid a disagreement between the two powers over Riyadh’s killing of a renowned Shi’ite Muslim preacher, Saudi Arabia severed relationships seven years ago.
Iran has also been held responsible by the monarchy for assaults on tankers in Persian Gulf Water. Missile and drone strikes on Saudi oil infrastructure in 2019 added salt over injury, for which Riyadh found Tehran responsible.
The most challenging theme in the negotiations with Tehran was linked to Yemen crisis. Saudi media activity against Iran and China’s stance were other major sources of challenge during the negotiations.
Reactivating a 2001 security agreement, which covers collaboration in combating narcotics, smuggling, and organized crime, as well as a previous deal on commerce, economics, and investment, has been agreed upon by the two parties.
“Even if diplomatic ties have been restored, we are not yet allies. Saudi Arabia typically maintains diplomatic ties, and we should do the same with everyone” added the official. Recent dispute with Washington besides security concerns in the region has put Saudi Arabia on the weak position during the recent months.
On the other hand, Tehran has utilized Beijing in the talks to have stronger leverage on Riyadh. Iran’s active role in regional developments has also affected the talks.