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The Lawfare Podcast: The Saudi-Iran Deal Featuring China

Hyemin Han, Jen Patja, Scott R. Anderson
Thursday, April 13, 2023, 12:00 PM
Did China deliver the normalization deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia? Is this the beginning of a multipolar Middle East? Lawfare discusses.

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A few weeks ago, China made headlines for brokering a deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia to thaw diplomatic relations after seven years of cutting ties and even more years of tense relations. Since then, we've already begun to see some downstream effects of this deal, with significant movement on the war in Yemen and the reopening of Iran's embassy in Saudi Arabia.

This is a story with two major strands—one about the potential effects of a successful normalization between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and another about how China, and not the U.S., seems to have made it happen. To understand what all of this might mean for the region, Lawfare Associate Editor Hyemin Han talked to Lawfare Senior Editor Scott Anderson and CNAS Middle East Security Program Director Jonathan Lord about the contours of the deal, China's involvement in the process, and what to look out for as this deal ripens.

Hyemin Han is an associate editor of Lawfare and is based in Washington, D.C. Previously, she worked in eviction defense and has interned on Capitol Hill and with the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. She holds a BA in government from Dartmouth College, where she was editor-in-chief of The Dartmouth independent daily.
Jen Patja is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.
Scott R. Anderson is a fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and a Senior Fellow in the National Security Law Program at Columbia Law School. He previously served as an Attorney-Adviser in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State and as the legal advisor for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq.

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