How Religion Shaped the Saudi-Iranian Relations
Iran is a center of Shi’i theology; since overthrowing the Pahlavi monarchy, it has also aimed to export its Islamic revolution to other countries in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia has custodianship of Islam’s two holiest cities, Makkah and Madinah, and thus unrivaled power and prestige in the Islamic world along with an equal determination to preserve it; Iran challenges this dominant Saudi position. But religion is not a key determinant of the important political and strategic circumstances informing Saudi-Iranian ties, despite the obstacles it creates. It is but one determining variable that often acquires influence within the context of advancing political goals.
KeywordsSaudi Arabia Arabian Peninsula Holy City Muslim State Ottoman Empire
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