Since 2011, the Arab Spring has turned into a prime example of how divided the Saudi-Iranian relationship has become in the face of regional instability. For the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which has faced Arab disunity since its inception, the Arab Spring is hardly a promising sign of reform. Instead, Riyadh sees the spring as a disturbing trend which could break the Arab world apart and grant Iran chances to expand its interventions. Tehran asserts that the spring is partly modeled after its revolution, and that regional conditions are now ripe to build a new Islamic Middle East in which power will shift away from the United States and its Arab allies, including Saudi Arabia, into the hands of groups that aim to see a far more reduced American role in the region. This implies that Iran will be more powerful in the new paradigms that will shape the Middle East. It further implies that faced with rapid regional changes, the United States will be less able to depend on Saudi Arabia to contain Iran.
KeywordsSaudi Arabia Foreign Policy Middle East Arab World Gulf Cooperation Council
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.