The paper "The Relations between Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia" is a wonderful example of a dissertation on politics. Since time immemorial, the Persian Gulf has been a region of economic and historical significance starting with the trade between the East and Europe. Following the end of the Ottoman Empire, this region has faced many political challenges that have had an effect on political allegiances and regional stability over time which came about mainly due to colonialism. As the First World War concluded, France and Britain shared their previous colonial landmasses along boundaries of geography and not ethnic lines.
The most direct consequence of this action is the conflict that has brewed in this region to this day. Among the most notable conflicts caused by the direct result of post-World War were the Arab-Israeli and Iran-Iraq wars. Among the lesser-known conflicts in the region are border conflicts such as those between; Bahrain and Qatar, Iran and the United Arab Emirates (henceforth UAE) and Saudi and Qatar. These disputes do not have any significant influence on the global economy, but they represent the highly volatile and dynamic environment in the Persian Gulf. However, the most significant relationship in the Middle East is one between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran as this relationship defines the whole region.
One nation consists mainly of the Shia and also controls the Eastern shore of the Gulf while the other predominantly Sunni nation controls the majority of the western coast. The relations between these two nations is tenuous at best, and the condition has existed before the 1979 Iranian revolution.
As this region produces more than sixty percent of the global oil, the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Iran merits close study. For this study, the researcher shall assess both the contemporary and historical relations between Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to pinpoint the geopolitical consequences of this strained relationship in the Gulf region. Being the leading Islamic and political nation in the region has caused constant tension that continues to brew between the two nations. The tense nature of the relationship between Iran and Saudi Arabia has escalated resulting from Iran’ s subversions of Arabian governments, especially those in the Gulf region that have large Shiite populations.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia plays an important role in the Islamic and Arab world whereas this privileged position results from several factors including its location, its spiritual significance to Islam by having both Holy Mosques and its role in the establishment of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). This dissertation hinges on identifying the following; • The contemporary and historical points present in the development of the relationship between Iran and Saudi Arabia • The current nature of the Iranian-Saudi relationship • How the Saudi-Iran relationship has been influenced by the interests of other nations within the Gulf region • The duo political implications of the relationship between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia and Iran are not allies, but both value the idea of being the supreme nation in the Islamic World and the Gulf region.
Each individual nation harbors different values, and as well each government has different perspectives towards relating with the West. For instance, after the Iranian revolution of 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran’ s first Supreme Leader adopted an anti-west strategy.
On the other hand, Saudi’ s relations with the West, particularly the United States have been strong. The status of this relationship was clarified as recently as 2013 when Saud Al Faisal, Minister of Foreign Affairs during a meeting attended by former U. S Secretary of State John Kerry stresses that U. S-Saudi relations had been and remained strong. The conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia has been fueled by the Shiite and Wahhabi leaders. For example, Iranian leaders have often criticized the legitimacy of Saudi Arabia’ s Royal family and this criticism extended far beyond verbal warfare as Iran tried to fly its war aircraft over Saudi during the Iran-Iraqi war and also incited violence during the Islamic pilgrimage period in Makkah.
Saudi’ s hope for better relations with its neighbors has been noted, and with the case of Iran, Rafsanjani’ s and Khatami’ s presidencies were the most progress towards the achievement of this objective. According to Cordersman (2003), efforts by Iran to improve relations as was presented by the Foreign Minister Ali, Akbar Velayati were received positively by the Saudi government.