New York, NY, March 13, 2023—Following the announcement of the KSA-Iran normalization agreement, Mr. Jack Rosen, President of the American Jewish Congress, released the following statement:

The agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran to restore diplomatic ties renews debate about the future of peace between Israel and Arab states, Iran’s malign influence in the region, and America’s role in the Middle East and ties with traditional regional allies.

The American Jewish Congress recognizes Riyadh’s rationale in severing diplomatic ties with Iran back in January 2016. Extremists linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Basij stormed and burned Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran, in violation of international law and as an attempt to exacerbate tensions across the Middle East to advance Iran’s extreme ideological agenda. While reopening of embassies was inevitable, timing and circumstances have raised questions on the possibility that it could preclude or delay a decisive action on ending Iran’s reign of terror in the Middle East – especially against the interests of key American allies Israel and Saudi Arabia.

The American Jewish Congress is concerned that the Iranian regime has expanded the use of its armed drones to Ukraine after Yemen in the face of a tepid international response. While Iranian armed drones in Ukraine and armed shipments to Yemen continue to be intercepted, Tehran signs a deal with Moscow to buy fighter jets and shows little progress in restraining its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Iran has kept the U.S.-led Western alliance jittery while hurting the interests of America’s partners in Europe, Israel, and the Arab states. This could have led Saudi Arabia to seek China’s leverage in trying to deal with Tehran. It remains to be seen whether Iran will temper its behavior after the deal with the Saudis or if it will embarrass the Chinese guarantors and relapse into its old ways – as has happened on multiple occasions in the past.

We are determined to continue working to advance peace in the Middle East; bring moderate nations together for a better future and work with the U.S. Government and partners in the region to achieve shared goals.”

© 2020 American Jewish Congress.