There are two major events in the middle east today. Iran hijacked a South Korean ship and Saudi Arabia and Qatar have a new diplomatic deal that creates a unified Arab front against Iran.
1. Iran seized a South Korean-flagged tanker in Gulf waters and detained its crew. $7 billion in Iranian funds are frozen in South Korean banks due to U.S. sanctions.
The ship had 20 crew members and they are from South Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar.
2. Saudi Arabia will open its borders and airspace to Qatar on Monday night after boycotting it since 2017. There will be commerce and travel between Saudi Arabia and Qatar for the first time since 2017. In 2017, Saudi Arabia accusing Qatar of supporting terrorism and Islamists in the region, and of getting too close to Iran.
More reconciliation is to follow. The Saudis want a united front to counter Iran.
Saudi Arabia allows Qatar Airways to fly over its airspace. Qatari planes will have shorter flights. Iran will lose up to $100 million in annual fees Qatar has been paying to fly over Iran instead.
SOURCES- Reuters, NY Times
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com