Saudi Arabia and Iran: Main Factors Ascending Their Rivalry In the Middle East Since the Islamic Revolution

The struggle for influence between Riyadh and Tehran has reached its highest level to encompass nearly every conflict within the Middle East. Although sectarianism has been the main aspect characterizing this rivalry, this research extends far beyond the sectarian reading of the crisis. In fact, it explores further political and economic factors that brought these two countries at odds, raising the question “why can’t Iran and Saudi Arabia reach cooperation despite their shared history, culture and religion?” The primary concern of this study is to highlight a pragmatic reading of the conflict in order to clarify the current regional turmoil. For this purpose, this study adopts a mixed methodology conducting in-depth interviews, document analysis and observation under the umbrella of a case study research strategy.

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