Relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Saudi Arabia's Involvement in the Middle East's Revolutions – Case Study Example

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The paper “ Relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Saudi Arabia’ s involvement in the Middle East’ s Revolutions” is a    worthy example of a case study on politics. Saudi Arabia adopted a cautious policy following the formation of the Islamic Republic of Iran. In simpler terms, the Kingdom took on a wait-and-see approach as it gave time for the formation of Iranian policies. It was not too long before a high-ranking diplomatic delegation led by the OIC’ s (Organization of the Islamic Conference) secretary-general was sent by King Khalid to congratulate the new government and the new state.

The crown prince at the time, Fahd expressed his respect for Iran and its leadership as did the King by describing Iran as a pioneer. Although the gestures of acceptance and the political welcome showed by Saudi Arabia, Iran’ s response was aggressive. The Iranian government took on several actions that escalated the concern of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. For instance, statements against the Hejaz region and the Saudi Royal family were made by Iranian officials. Moreover, protests by Iranians were organized during Hajj, the Muslim pilgrimage which happens in Saudi Arabia in 1980 which sought to oppose the Israeli and American policies. Hajj is the season during which Muslims from around the world gather in Saudi Arabia to peacefully pay their religious duties.

Therefore, demonstrations during this time would pose challenges for both the Saudi government and religious leaders as well. 1980 also saw the gathering of liberation movement groups which attracted Saudi Shiites and led to the formation of the Saudi Liberation Front in Tehran, Iran. Further concerns by the Saudi government took root following the seizure of the Holy Mosque in 1979 by Salafis, and also through the Saudi Shiites uprising in 1980 ((Sadeghi & Amhadian, 2011).

Ayatollah Khomeini described the attacks on the Holy Mosque as having received support from America and Zionists (New York Times, 1979 as cited in Sadeghi & Amhadian, 2011). Despite this condemnation of the mosques’ seizures, the Saudi Government did not loosen up its concerns over the new nation (Fuller & Francke, 1999). Sanctions by the U. S on Iran led to a loss of $12 billion during the reign of Khomeini, but the state was able to sell its oil to non-American buyers and to some American companies that bought from them and sold to non-American customers.

Iran would have benefitted from the lost income especially during its warring times with Iraq and the subsequent drop in oil prices increased further the harm done by the U. S sanctions. The Iranian economy suffered when oil prices fell to $10 a barrel in 1986, from $40 a barrel in 1981 and also due to the cost of war with Iran whereby Iranian infrastructure was greatly crippled.

Sanctions from the U. S cost Iran $1 billion annually while the cost of war and the loss from reduced oil prices ran into the hundreds of billions. The first post-war revolution saw Khomeini's creation of a system dependent on oil and an ineffectual system of bureaucracy which had direct influence over the now increasing levels of unemployment, corruption, and inflation. The Iranian economy faced further strain when Khomeini called for an increased population which resulted in a 4% increase in population. This means that the population was increased by twenty million in a period of ten years.

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