Last Updated: Feb. 9, 2024

Debate: Will Iranian-Saudi détente fall victim to the Gaza war?

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian receives Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud in Tehran, Iran on June 17, 2023. (Photo by Zahra Sadat Rad via Young Journalists Club)


Despite the many challenges and occasional hiccups, Iran and Saudi Arabia have indicated a continued commitment to their rapprochement. However, the ongoing war in Gaza and the regional spillover—including in the Red Sea—are putting pressure on the normalization effort. invited three experts to assess whether the risk of a broader conflagration, including the armed confrontation involving Yemen's Ansarullah movement—better known as the Houthis—may derail the Iranian-Saudi rapprochement.

  • Aziz Alghashian is an Associate Fellow at the Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient (CARPO).

  • Arash Azizi is a Senior Lecturer in History and Political Science at Clemson University.

  • Ali Bakir is an Assistant Professor of international affairs, security, and defense at Qatar University, and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council.

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