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What is really behind the Saudi-Iranian cold war? )DIEEEO71-2017)

The conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia is routinely explained away as a sectarian rift, but this paper argues that the rise in sectarian tensions is a consequence, rather than the cause, of the rivalry between the two regional powers. The Kingdom has resorted to playing the sectarian card in response to the ideological challenge posed by Iran, which tries to woo Sunni Muslims to its side by advocating a political system that combines Islam and a democracy of sorts. For its part, the Islamic Republic prefers to downplay the Sunni-Shiite split and emphasises the need for Islamic unity against foreign enemies, notably Israel and the US. In addition, both Riyadh and Tehran are concerned about regime survival, which is a major factor in their foreign policy and how it is framed.

Documento elaborado por Ana Belén Soage.

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What is really behind the Saudi-Iranian cold war?
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