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Saudi-Iranian struggle in the new Middle East

By Sajad Abedi*


It is known that the Gulf States are good and stable. Over the past ten years, the Gulf states have been working to make their way towards a stronger sense of co-operation and unity of meaning, in order to stabilize the region as a whole. Most importantly, the Gulf region resisted the path to war between Iran and Iraq; a struggle which, from the point of view of reasonable observers, could have adverse effects on many of these states. Gulf rulers have, to this day, used their distinguished oil revenues to protect against any domestic internal turmoil.

Even so, Kuwait has was occupied by Iraq, which has forced Gulf powers to legitimize themselves in the Persian Gulf, their permanent boundaries, and their consolidation of Arab oil. At the moment, after the Cold War came to an end, and the concept of democracy in the world was validated, these struggles became more intense. The Middle East itself has long been maturing in the pursuit of major political and social developments; developments that realize the aspirations of the people of this. Therefore, the Gulf States will face a severe test in the next ten years. If Kuwait’s likely move toward democratization does not affect them, the outlook for radical changes in Saudi Arabia will threaten them more. In the past, these countries were a large region that, during the transition from revolutionary developments, had the greatest impact on the stability of the Persian Gulf: the overthrow of the Iraqi monarchy in 1958 and the fall of the Pahlavi Empire in 1979. The fall of any other system in the Arabian Peninsula will again change these colorful political relationships. Mentioning that the old system will eventually disappear does not mean that these regimes are currently unstable or shaky, but only in the sense that the monarchial regimes enjoy an uncertain future as a state system in the face of rapid changes – leaps or revolutions. At least two major systemic changes will enter the region:


  1. 1. Each regime, and the new political turmoil that comes about as a result of this disorder, could lead to the collapse of the Gulf powers.
  2. Revolutionary change in Saudi Arabia will have a much larger message that will almost certainly transform the conservative and supportive government structure of the country into an aggressive and potentially expansionist state in the Persian Gulf, thus giving the Gulf States a fresh start as far as the geostrategic arena is concerned.


Meanwhile, if any of the small Gulf countries are seriously affected, one can expect a conservative Saudi Arabia to actively intervene. Iraq will also fight any Saudi intervention in the Persian Gulf, if it exists in order to preserve it, but Iraq will oppose any achievement for the Islamic Republic of Iran in the region.


*Sajad Abedi is a Resident Research Fellow at the National Security and Defense Think Tank. He obtained his Ph. D. degree in National Security from the National Defense University, Islamic Republic of Iran. His research interests pertain to Arab-Israeli studies, Cyber Security studies and National Security.

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