fact finding over relation between Saudi Arabia and Iran

Misbaul Hoque Masud

University of Chittagong, Bangadesh.

A year of revolution in and around the Middle East has led to a changing political environment that overwhelmingly altered the power structure of the region and presenting consolidated leadership in the gulf area for both Saudi Arabia and Iran. As Saudi Arabia and Iran are the main actors in the gulf area their relation is regarded as an important issue in the sphere of international affairs and the regional politics of the Middle East. Their relation is becoming loathly day by day. So let’s have a look what are the basic factors behind their relation that have had the most influence on this.

First one is ideological difference. Though both countries are the follower of Islamic rules and regulation’s they have their distinct faith in Islam. Saudi Arabia is a conservative “Wahhabi” Sunni Islamic kingdom where 80% are Sunni Muslims and 20% are Shia Muslims. It has also close ties with U.S. and U.K. Saudi Arabia is also followed by the strict “sariah law” and monarchy.
on the other hand, Iran is a Shia Islamic republic founded, where 90% Shia Muslim,8%sunni Muslim and 2% others. Iran is an anti-western minded country. The Islamic republic of Iran is based on the principle of “guardianship of Islamic jurists” which holds that a faith (Islamic jurist) should have custodianship over all Muslim followers including their governance and regardless of their nationality. Iran’s supreme leader is Shia faith which name is “Ayatollah Al Khomeini”-(the founder of Islamic revolution in 1979).Iran ideologically oppose to the Saudi Arabia’s monarchy and the Islamic Sariah law. It is regarded as UN Islamic by Iran. Recently the ideological war between Saudi Arabia and Iran has become worsen with the death sentence to Sheikh Nimr Al-Nimr by Saudi Arabia on 2 January, 2016. So this is the main reason behind the frugality of Saudi Arabia and Iran relation.
Secondly, the aspiration for the leadership if Muslim world. both countries are trying to keep hegemony over Islamic countries. It’s cited that, in Syria, both countries are trying to cooperate with their allies.

Third one is the energy policy over oil export. Both countries are the major oil and gas exporters and have clashed over energy policy. Saudi Arabia with its large oil reserved and smaller population has a greater interest in taking a long term view of global oil market and incentive to moderate prices. In contrast Iran has the interest on high prices short term due to its low standard of living. Besides, Iran’s another concerning matter is Saudi Arabia is weighty member of OPEC.

Fourth one is Iran’s nuclear program. Saudi Arabia and Iran relation is becoming poised for Iran’s nuclear program. Cause, Saudi Arabia seems Iran as a big threat for its security. Even in a report publish by WikiLeaks said that Saudi Arabia pressed it’s western ally US to attack Iran. But it is a point of view that Saudi Arabia is an important member of gulf cooperation council (GCC) organization which has another six Islamic affluent countries (Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, UAE). Saudi Arabia has close ties with them. Saudi Arabia also created an military alliance Islamic alliance to fight terrorism (IMA FT) with 39 Islamic countries without Iran, Iraq, Syria.  Membership Contributing Nations:
Cote d’Ivoire
Saudi Arabia
Sierra Leone

the main objective of it to protect Muslim countries from all terrorist groups and terrorist organization. The coalition has stated that it will fight terrorists in “Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Afghanistan” the founder of it is “Mohammad bin salmon al Saud”-Saudi Arabians minister of defense on December, 2016. That’s the important side for Saudi Arabia to build up its leadership in the gulf area.

Fifth one is Iran’s western views. Iran always keeps a negative mentality against western countries particularly US because of US’s political and economic interference centered with its nuclear program. it has already mentioned that Saudi Arabia has a close ties with US which helps Saudi Arabia to lead the gulf region and also helps to increase its security. That’s why Iran regarded Saudi Arabia and US’s amicable relation as a big obstacle to carry on his foreign policy in the gulf region.
But now this triangle political environment is changing. Saudi Arabia and USA relation is becoming sour center with 9/11 event. USA alleged that most of the participants during the time of 9/11 massacre were Saudi Arab’s inhabitants which totally opposed by Saudi Arabia. That’s why; Saudi Arabia is increasing his hand in the Africa and Latin American states depressed with USA for its leadership. On the other hand, the strained relation between Iran and USA is melting. USA has took off its economic interference from Iran and also signed with nuclear treaty which is being a concerning matter for Saudi Arabia.
In 1930, when imperialists discovered hydrocarbon reservation in Middle East, it became a tramp card in geopolitics. But it’s the fact finding question that in present are they ready to cop up with present world crisis? What should be their particular policy to global politics over regional peace?

fact finding Iran-saudi relations

Misbaul Hoque Masud

department of International Relations

University of Chittagong, Bangadesh.

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