Iran vs Saudi Arabia: Conflicts rising?

New Delhi: As the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that Iran has fulfilled all the prerequisites of the Nuclear Deal of June 2015, all the crippling economic sanctions have been lifted from the country. This has paved the road for Iran to come out of years of economic isolation. The release of billions of dollars of Iranian assets will open flood gates for European and international conglomerates to rush to Iran for lucrative contracts. But some middle eastern countries especially Saudi Arabia, fear the new emboldened Iran, flush with cash and international recognition.

Reasons of the conflict

Saudi Arabia has the profound fear that the geopolitical trends in Middle East are aligning against them, threatening both of their regional dominance and their domestic security. With the rise of new and powerful Iran, Saudi fears the encouragement of the Shiites population to rise against the Sunni rulers in Gulf countries and within its borders.

The Saudi leadership believes that the increased Iranian power will lead to political mobilization by Shia within the Sunni ruled states Gulf states. They not only remain certain of the fact that Iran intervenes in their domestic affairs but also believe that the heightened political role of Iran in the region will inevitably inspire Shiite discount in the region and would threaten the Gulf monarchies.  

Saudis are also insecure with their current scenario in Yemen where their collation with other countries is fighting against the Iranian backed Shiite rebels. Countries like Bahrain which are allies of Saudi Arabia have officially accused Iran for smuggling weapons into the periphery of Yemen. With the cash influx and regional dominance the Iranians can sabotage the motives of the Saudi led collation in Yemen.

Apart from the political rivalry, both countries are also at war regarding their economies. In the recent times the price of crude oil have taken behemoth dip, which has put the economy of the Saudi Arabia at jeopardy. Adding to their misery, with the removal of sanctions, Iran will now be able to export oil to the non-US countries. Both the countries are pointing their most potent weapon, i.e. oil against each other by crushing its prices in the competition.

Saudi Arabia's decision to execute the Shia leader Nimr al Nimr earlier this month has only exacerbated the tensions, prompting the protesters to attack the Saudi Embassy in Tehran and its consulate in Mashhad, leading Riyadh to break the ties with Iran. With these hostile turn of events in the recent past there is only a bleak chance that both the countries resolve their issues with each other.

News24 Bureau

Alind chauhan