The Chinese state propaganda outlet Global Times declared on Sunday that a deal to restore diplomatic ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia brokered in China was “signaling the waning of Washington’s influence,” accusing far-left President Joe Biden’s administration of “sour grapes” over the news.
The Global Times cited a commentary in Sputnik News, a Russian propaganda outlet, that declared China’s intervention in the Middle East threatens to “push [the] US out of the Gulf” region.
The Russian and Chinese state news outlets both declared the return of diplomatic ties between Riyadh and Tehran as a defeat for Washington, though Biden administration officials welcomed the news, and the Biden administration did not appear to have any influence over the countries’ decision in either direction.
Iran and Saudi Arabia – as the world’s two most prominent Shia Muslim and Sunni Muslim countries, respectively – have for decades struggled with a contentious, if not outright violent, relationship. They are currently engaged in an ongoing proxy war in Yemen, where the Iran-allied Houthi terrorist movement overthrew the legitimate Sunni government in 2014. The two also regularly accuse each other of not being authentically Muslim governments, and Iran has advocated for stripping the Saudi government of custodianship of the two holiest sites in Islam, the cities of Mecca and Medina.