“New era” of diplomacy between Iran and Saudi Arabia

By June 14, 2023

Iran (MNN) — The Iranian embassy in Saudi Arabia’s capital re-opened for the first time in seven years. According to the BBC, Iran is calling it a “new era.”

Why is this a big deal?

Mike Ansari with Heart4Iran explains, “Iranians and Saudis have been adversaries for years, especially after the last 20 years of the Islamic Revolution. The relationship has soured because Saudi Arabia believes that Iran is actively trying to export Shiite Islam, and Saudis are Sunnis.

“The Iranian regime has had a major influence in reshaping the politics of Iraq post-Saddam Hussein. They were involved in Yemen and directly involved with the Houthi rebels. Also, Iran has had influence and presence in Syria fighting ISIS and in other regions as well. So Saudi Arabia sees that as a threat of exportation of Shiite Islam to the rest of the Muslim world.”

A mural in the holy city of Qom depicts Ayatollah Khomeini, leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, on the left and Ali Khamenei, the current Supreme Leader of Iran, on the right. (Photo/Caption courtesy of David Stanley via Flicker: https://flic.kr/p/ez3Q3N)

On one hand, Saudis and Iranians re-establishing diplomatic ties would be good for stabilizing geopolitics in the Middle East.

On the other hand, Ansari says, “The peace that has been brokered between Saudis and Iran by China is extremely telling of the fact that America and the West are soon losing their footing and influence that they once had across Middle East; specifically, in the region that is an oil-producing region.”

Less Western influence in this region of the Middle East means less oversight of Iran’s human rights abuses.

“We are going to continue to see more pressure on the religious minorities, more pressure on anyone who stands up to speak against the atrocities and the crimes that the Iranian government is committing,” says Ansari.

Thankfully, we serve God who is sovereign over the nations.

Please pray for spiritual strength and wisdom for Christians both in Iran and Saudi Arabia sharing the Gospel at the risk of their own lives.

Learn more about Heart4Iran’s ministry here!








Header photo courtesy of Heart4Iran.