An Iranian Narrative of TehranRiyadh Tention Escalation

The relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Saudi Arabia have always been based on tension, political misunderstandings and on some occasions, a kind of limited détente. Presently (early 2019) most researchers employ the term “cold war” to describe the nature of this relationship. This situation has deteriorated after the Syrian crisis (since 2011), and the reign of King Salman and his son, especially with the arrival of Donald Trump at the White House. By using the neoclassical realism theory, the present paper seeks to explain the question of leading causes of Tehran-Riyadh hostility from an Iranian perspective and prospects that can be drawn for it. The findings suggest that the causes of this hostility can be analyzed at the domestic, regional and transnational levels. As long as Riyadh perceives Iran as a threat to its survival, Trump and Mohammed bin Salman remain in power, Riyadh's internal concerns stay in place, and no strategic shift happens from Saudi side (for example, alliance with Russia), the tension in Tehran-Riyadh relations will continue. The method used by the authors in this research is descriptive-analytic, and it is mostly focused on how Tehran interprets the deep reasons for this hostility.

Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs, Volume:8 Issue:2, 2017
111 - 137  
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