THE SAUDI–IRANIAN RIVALRY AND ITS REGIONAL EFFECTS
Ostovar, Afshon P.
Darnton, Christopher N.
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The Saudi–Iranian rivalry forms one of the most important components of the security dynamics of the Middle East. The rivalry has intensified with each country toiling to undermine the other. This dynamic directly affects the prevailing fragile security situation of the Middle East. Although their competition appears to be an ideological one, geo-political motives primarily drive this rivalry. Both countries use religion as an instrument to influence populations across the region. Saudi Arabia and Iran have not directly confronted each other except to exchange hatred rhetoric. Both countries, however, are effectively utilizing the prevailing unrest and instability in adjoining countries and further complementing the instability by sponsoring proxy wars. Their unending quest for influence even at the cost of other countries’ turmoil has devastating impacts for the region. It is imperative to understand the methods both countries are using to enhance their influence and undermine the other in the arena outside their own territory. Understanding the inherent motives of the Saudi-Iranian rivalry and their methods of execution can assist the international comity of nations to play a more productive role in engaging both countries for peace in the region.
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