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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.