At the root of the conflict between Iran and its Arab neighbours lies the Shia-Sunni divide, as the patrons of the two Muslim sects, Tehran and Riyadh respectively, are both prepared to promote and support their sectarian beliefs. Conflicts in Yemen, Syria and Bahrain can be viewed in this light. Yet it is also the result of an ordinary struggle between two regional powers.
Results for Tag: Saudi Arabia
Historically, Saudi Arabia and Iran have not stood head-to-head, and while several factors played into the historical deterioration of relations between the two regional powers, oil was the main cause. The consequences of the economic face off are felt by both nations, and, most importantly, their populations.
Bin Zayed grew up witnessing the rapid transformation of the UAE from huts to Hilton hotels and skyscrapers. Along the way, his father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan, elder brother Khalifa and he learned two valuable lessons: the UAE cannot survive without outside protection and they need to remain strategically significant to keep mainly their Western allies interested and on board. Moreover, the country’s geographical location puts it between two regional powers that historically have shown an interest in controlling it.
Today, Shiites are divided into numerous sects, the largest being Twelver Shiism. Shiites make up the majority of the population in Iran, Iraq, Bahrain and Azerbaijan; and they constitute significant minorities in Lebanon, Yemen, Syria, Turkey, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, India, Nigeria and Tanzania.
On 17 June 2017, ambassadors from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt demanded that Sudan clarify its position regarding the crisis. According to the Sudanese News Agency, the minister stressed his c ountry’s desire to play a role in achieving reconciliation by supporting the initiative taken by the Emir of Kuwait.
A thaw between Israel and Saudi Arabia relations would thus mark a major shift in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Thus, Saudi Arabia has developed clandestine business deals with Israeli companies in recent years, especially in security and intelligence. Israeli media reports have also claimed that the Israel Defense Forces has offered Saudi Arabia Iron Dome military technology to defend Saudi territory from Yemeni rockets.
With no obstacles left in his way, Prince Mohammed may move swiftly to implement his vision, all while giving the kingdom something it has not had in over half a century: a young, energetic king who could rule for decades. Whether he succeeds or fails, Saudi Arabia as we know it will never be the same again.
According to several observers, the plan’s goals, although positive for Saudi Arabia in the long-term, are not compatible with country’s political, social and economic context. “Basically, the regime could collapse by implementing their own plan, but they might also collapse if they don’t,” Kirkegaard explained. “They are in deep structural trouble, and that’s not counting the geopolitical pressure they face over their continued involvement in Syria and Yemen.”