Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Policy

Why in News?

  • Recently, Saudi Arabia is making a significant shift in its foreign policy as it moves away from its aggressive stance towards Iran and seeks to create balance between great powers while also transforming its own economy.


  • Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy had always centered around Iran, resulting in proxy conflicts across the region. It’s stance, in the past, has always been aggressive towards Iran.
  • However, recently Saudi Arabia announced a deal, after China-mediated talks to normalise diplomatic ties with Iran.
  • There has been a shift from strategic rivalry and proxy conflicts to tactical de-escalation and mutual coexistence with Iran.
  • Saudi Arabia has also been trying to balance between the US, its largest arms supplier, Russia, its OPEC-Plus partner, and China, the new superpower in the region.
  • Recent regional bets were either unsuccessful or only partially successful.
  • Failed regional policies such as for Syria and Yemen, where the Saudi intervention failed to deter the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
  • Also, the Houthis, with their drones and short-range missiles, now pose a serious security threat to Saudi Arabia.
  • The US’s priority is shifting away from West Asia.
  • US’s deprioritisation of West Asia, making Saudi Arabia realise that it needs to establish its own autonomy by building loyal alliances with other great powers.
  • China, which has good ties with both Iran and Saudi Arabia, offered to mediate between the two, and the Saudi seized the opportunity.
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