March 10, 2023

What Does the Iran-Saudi Arabia Truce Mean for Washington’s Standing on the Global Stage?

Source: NBC News

Journalist: Phil McCausland

While there will likely be less conflict, the two countries are also expected to use the de-escalating tensions to build up their own defenses. Lord said that Saudi Arabia had worked assiduously to build their military capacity to defend itself against the types of attacks Iran is capable of. In its ongoing dialogue with the U.S. about normalizing relations with Israel and other issues, Riyadh even raised expectations to build up its nuclear capabilities to mirror Iran’s.

But having an agreement with Iran could perhaps give Riyadh cover to pursue the U.S.’s efforts of normalizing ties between the Saudis and Israel without incurring “a physical response” from Iran.

“I think perhaps this buys down the risk, potentially a bit, and gives them a little bit more latitude to explore, quietly, greater opportunities with Israel, (the U.S. and other regional partners),” Lord said.

While helpful to the Saudis’ position, perhaps, Israel is unlikely to be very happy. Iran has long been considered a particularly staunch nemesis of Israel, and has worked hard to normalize relations with Arab Gulf kingdoms -- notably through the 2020 Abraham Accords.

Read the full story and more from NBC News.


  • Jonathan Lord

    Senior Fellow and Director, Middle East Security Program

    Jonathan Lord is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Security program at CNAS. Prior to joining CNAS, Lord served as a professional staff member for the House Arme...