Simon Henderson is the Baker fellow and director of the Bernstein Program on Gulf and Energy Policy at The Washington Institute, specializing in energy matters and the conservative Arab states of the Persian Gulf.
Articles & Testimony
The surprise development may have more to do with resolving the Yemen war than rebuking the Biden administration, but the full implications will take time to register.
News, particularly the international variety, is usually just either good or bad. But on March 10, at around 8 a.m. Washington, D.C. time, news emerged that arguably qualified for the description of “jaw-dropping”: After seven years without diplomatic relations, it was announced that Saudi Arabia and Iran were to “normalize” relations. And China is the Cupid that brought the two sides together. I happened to have two meetings that morning with people with whom I often chat about Iran. Neither had heard the news until I told them, and both initially thought I might be kidding them. I could see each trying to process the information, working out what it may mean. That exercise about the implications of the development will probably keep a sizable portion of Washington’s foreign policy community busy this coming week...