Beyond the Headlines: How the Saudi-Iran reconciliation could transform the Middle East

Can a handshake transform a region?

After long years of tension, Saudi Arabia and Iran decided in March to normalise diplomatic relations. Weeks later, the Saudi and Iranian foreign ministers met face to face – and the handshake took place.

The landmark agreement entails patching up the rift by reviving a security co-operation agreement, reopening embassies within two months and resuming trade, investment and cultural accords. The China-brokered deal could lead to a major realignment in the Middle East and, while it is a coup for Beijing, it represents a geopolitical challenge for the United States.

This week on Beyond the Headlines, host Ismaeel Naar looks at how Saudi Arabia and Iran were able to finally reach the negotiating table - and asks what the thawing of ties means for the wider region.

Updated: April 14, 2023, 12:25 PM