SAUDI-IRAN RIVALRY: A SECTARIAN DIVIDE OR SECURITY DILEMMA?
Keywords:Saudi-Iran Rivalry, Sectarian Schism, Security Dilemma, Constructivism
This paper examines two major drivers of conflictual relationship between Saudi Arabia and Iran : sectarian schism and power politics. The protracted enmity and rivalry has been analyzed in light of uncertainty and security dilemma through the prism of constructivism. The application of the theoretical lens provides clarity and supersedes the reductionist analysis of this squabble. The inception of the Shia-Sunni schism and Saudi-Iran rivalry has been investigated in greater length. Within this context, the deterioration of relations due to Saddam Hussein’s demise, the Arab Spring, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr’s execution, and the impact of Trump’s administration in the US have also been examined. Conclusively, this paper argues that security dilemma and uncertainty of each other’s actions is the driving force and primary cause of Saudi-Iran rivalry rather than sectarian divide.
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