• Monday, November 18, 2019

For Tehran, Riyadh is little more than an afterthought.

Discussion in 'Middle East & Africa' started by scythian500, Oct 20, 2016.

  1. scythian500

    scythian500 SENIOR MEMBER

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    The National Interest: Saudi Arabia Cares More About Iran Than Iran Does About Saudi Arabia
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    For Tehran, Riyadh is little more than an afterthought.

    October 18, 2016

    It’s often assumed that Saudi Arabia is as big a concern to Iran as Tehran is to Riyadh. Recent statements by Iranian officials seem to confirm this, as do recent Iranian efforts to derail Saudi influence in the region. But while Iran is indeed Saudi Arabia’s most important foreign policy concern, Saudi Arabia isn’t even in Iran’s top concerns. This mismatch in threat perceptions further destabilizes the region.

    Fears of regional Iranian hegemony are longstanding and visceral. The rivalry is multilayered: political, religious, cultural and ethnic. Tehran has always been a force to be reckoned with in the region—something it doesn’t hesitate to remind the Arabs of. Iran also increasingly uses its proxy groups to assert itself in the region, which the Saudis view as illegitimate interference in Arab affairs.


    For Saudi Arabia, the essence of the threat is not a potential Iranian invasion; rather, it is that Tehran consistently questions the House of Saud’s political and regional legitimacy. For example, Iranian officials question Riyadh’s guardianship of the most important Muslim holy sites. Last month, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei referred to the Sauds as “puny Satans” and “heartless, murderous Saudis.” He continued, “the world of Islam must fundamentally reconsider the management of the two holy places and the issue of Hajj.” Saudi Arabia rightfully feels Iran talks down to it, making it clear that it doesn’t take Riyadh seriously.

    In response, Saudi Arabia adopted a more assertive multitiered regional strategy to counter Iran. This further intensified the rivalry and led to the opening of new fronts. In Syria, Riyadh opposes any peace plan that involves keeping the Assad regime, Iran’s protégé, in place. Riyadh’s campaign in Yemen is intended to check perceived Iranian presence in its own backyard. Riyadh is also upping its presence in Afghanistan—traditionally an Iranian arena—by supporting various groups that undermine Iranian influence. After all, Afghanistan is to Iran what Yemen is to Saudi Arabia.

    Conversely, Iran is dismissive of Saudi Arabia. It lags behind big-power relations and countering extremism in the ranking of Iranian foreign-policy priorities. Despite much of its official rhetoric, Iran’s focus has always been the major players: the European Union, the United States, Russia and China. Iran views itself as a natural leader in its neighborhood, with a strong sense that others in the region should treat its interests deferentially.

    Iran believes that it derives legitimacy from inside, from its history and culture, whereas the Gulf Arab states derive it from the approval of others and their newfound wealth. It views the House of Saud as lacking history and indigenous capabilities, but compensating for it with lots of money. Iran thinks the lack of Saudi indigenous capability and its reliance on Western protection and arms undermines Saudi Arabia’s standing. This makes Riyadh an unworthy opponent in Iranian eyes.

    As a result, Iran’s regional foreign policy is not constructed around a potential Saudi threat. Rather, it aims to penetrate weak systems in the region to make itself indispensable to parties on the ground and project power. Iran would be involved in every arena it is currently engaged in in the region, regardless of Riyadh’s presence. In Syria, Iran believes it has a vital interest in maintaining the regime structures in place to secure its corridor to Hezbollah and to check Islamic State. In neighboring Iraq, it wants to secure its border, economic interests, and its influence over various factions, including the significant Shia constituency. In Afghanistan, Iran aims to secure its border, maintain some level of stability to avoid waves of Afghan refugees coming to Iran and prevent the rise of extremist groups.

    Yemen is the exception to the rule. Yemen has little strategic significance to Tehran. But the significance of Yemen to Saudi Arabia makes it an easy and low-cost way to poke Riyadh in the eye.

    So while the Iranian threat drives Saudi Arabia’s regional policy, Riyadh is only a small piece in the Iranian calculation. Under normal circumstances, this is good news: mismatched threat perceptions should make it easier to settle differences.

    But this is the Middle East.

    Saudi Arabia’s threat perception has led it to engage in and intensify conflicts that it wouldn’t be involved in to begin with had it not been for Iran. Saudi involvement in Yemen is sucking up resources and creating divisions with its Gulf allies and the United States. Tehran, for its part, smirks at the idea of Riyadh using up its resources and damaging its prestige and alliances, thinking it’s countering Iran.

    Meanwhile, Tehran uses these arenas as easy opportunities to further undermine the Saudis, without any significant changes to its broader foreign policy. It also pokes at the Saudis through a low-cost PR campaign that involves op-eds in U.S. newspapers, indicating the audience is not the region but rather the West. Tehran wants to signal to the West that it is a natural ally in the fight against groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS. It also wants to discredit Riyadh, which it argues is the source of these groups’ destructive ideology.

    Saudi threat perceptions, created and encouraged by Iranian policies, have further destabilized the region. Today, the Middle East counts several failed or failing states—a breeding ground for extremism. While Iran blames extremism on Saudi ideology, its own dismissal of Saudi concerns helped create a fertile environment for these groups, which also threaten Iranian national security.

    The common perception is that Iran and Saudi Arabia see each other as equals. In reality, Saudi Arabia’s focus is on countering Iran, but for Iran, Saudi Arabia is an afterthought. The mismatch in threat perceptions prevents any progress towards dialogue between the two countries, an essential step towards lessening regional tensions.

    Dina Esfandiary is the MacArthur Fellow at the Centre for Science and Security Studies at the King’s College in London. Ariane Tabatabai is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Georgetown University.

    http://nationalinterest.org/feature/saudi-arabia-cares-more-about-iran-iran-does-about-saudi-18091

    Image: Iranian commandos and missile boats in the Great Prophet IX exercise. Wikimedia Commons/Shahab-o-din Vajedi
     
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  2. Stryker1982

    Stryker1982 FULL MEMBER

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    Iran has many enemies globally and in the region. Saudi Arabia is small fish, it's not a surprise.
     
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  3. Aramagedon

    Aramagedon SENIOR MEMBER

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    5 months ago, American secretary defence told to the saudis: don't play with Iran, if you engage in a war with Iran even you wouldn't have enough time to call us and want help...
     
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  4. Qutb-ud-din Aybak

    Qutb-ud-din Aybak SENIOR MEMBER

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    really? iran and saudis are equally matched militaries. infact saudi war machinery is more latest.
    and what i found on this forum is that iranian government have hired people to win them the keyboard war. iranians here never want to hear even the facts which are showing that iran is doing something wrong. they are posting articles without any source. it will be not surprising to me if you are also the part of revolutionary army.
     
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  5. Sine Nomine

    Sine Nomine ELITE MEMBER

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    Saudis have there backup on stand by position,Mullahs of Qum can only dream about possession of Mecca and Madina and if ever they tried they will be dispatched to oblivion.
     
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  6. Aramagedon

    Aramagedon SENIOR MEMBER

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  7. mohammad45

    mohammad45 SENIOR MEMBER

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    Currently Al-Saud family is dying and after that Muslims of Arabia will control Mecca and Madina.
    The Jewish family of Al-Saud will die. Don't put your faith in them. You need to follow Yemen's war if you want to know us well.
    Yemen against USA-Saudi-Emiraty-Qatari coalition still resists. I shall mention Yemen's army hasn't completely shown it's real military strength. Riadh the house of Jews , i should say Zionists, will be conquered by Muslims soon enough.
    Try to be one of us bro. Arabian people need our help to gain their freedom again.
     
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  8. Aramagedon

    Aramagedon SENIOR MEMBER

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    Saudi Clan are Jewish you dumbo. And people of Khurasan will conquer Arabia.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=zionism+roots+of+saudi&rlz=1CDGOYI_enIR711IR711&hl=en-US&biw=375&bih=647&prmd=ivn&ei=pI8IWKe3IOucgAb37Y-oAQ&start=0&sa=N


    Moreover two 9/11s by Jewish saudi clan in same day and even same time. New York 9/11 by saudi regime in 2011 at 10 AM and Mecca 9/11 by saudi regime in 2015 [7 + 7 years later] at 5 PM which killed many Muslims beside holy Kaaba.

    New York 10 AM = = Holy Mecca 5 PM (14 GMT)


    The Saudi, I$raheli, American 9/11/ 2001 have killed Millions of Muslims in the ME up to now!

    Zionists and freemasons love bloods especially blood of believers and Muslims!



    Brits have chosen saudi freemason regime to rule Arabia as they have created I$rael to occupy Quds and Palestine.

    You Sunnis if love Allah should seek and find truth instead of worshipping Najdi freemason saudi clan. Read hadiths of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH); Persians aka Khurasanis will conquered Arabia and defeat the devil Sufiyani. They will break the heads of Satan.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2016
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  9. Peaceful Civilian

    Peaceful Civilian ELITE MEMBER

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    Riyadh is powerful country. Look their powerful air-force and one of the best defense system in the world. Iran has still long way to go to catch Saudi arabia.
    If you say satans to saudi people, don't expect flowers and love in return.
     
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  10. mohammad45

    mohammad45 SENIOR MEMBER

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    I call them Arabian people not Saudis. Saudis are funded by British monarchy and protected by it's royal family. This tyrant regime is wasting Arabian people's oil dollars in Paris, Washington, and other western cities.
     
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  11. Aramagedon

    Aramagedon SENIOR MEMBER

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    Iran can raise saudi cities to the ground in 5 hours. All of their country will be in flames just in the beginning of 5 hours of war with Iran.

    :toast_sign::toast_sign::toast_sign:
     
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  12. dani958

    dani958 BANNED

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    iran think she is stronger then she is you arent super power and not clost to it only thing you have is balistic missle thats it
     
  13. الأعرابي

    الأعرابي FULL MEMBER

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    Inferiority complex is pretty strong among Farsis.
     
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  14. dani958

    dani958 BANNED

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    what about vision 2030?
     
  15. Peaceful Civilian

    Peaceful Civilian ELITE MEMBER

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    :hitwall::hitwall::hitwall:
     
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