Accession Number:

ADA495436

Title:

Saudi-Iranian Relations Since the Fall of Saddam. Rivalry, Cooperation, and Implications for U.S. Policy

Descriptive Note:

Monograph

Corporate Author:

RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA

Report Date:

2009-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

159.0

Abstract:

The fall of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in 2003 and the war in Iraq have affected sweeping changes in the strategic landscape of the Middle East, radically shifting the regional balance of power. Old security paradigms have been thrown into question, and local states appear to be reaffirming, renegotiating, or rethinking their relations with one another and with outside powers. Saudi Arabia and Iran have in many respects been the central players in this unfolding transformation. The dynamic relations between the two powers have affected the Persian Gulf, Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine with important implications for regional stability and U.S. interests. Bilateral Tensions Affect Regional Stability and U.S. Interests Saudi Arabia and Iran are divided by long-standing structural tensions. Each has aspirations for Islamic leadership, and each possesses different visions of regional order. Whereas Tehran regards Riyadh as Americas proxy and a buffer against Irans rightful primacy in the Gulf, Saudi Arabia worries about Irans asymmetric power and regional ambitions, especially its expanding influence in post-Saddam Iraq and its alleged pursuit of a nuclear weapon. A particular concern in Riyadh is Irans ability to challenge the legitimacy of the al-Saud before regional and domestic audiences by upstaging them on pan-Arab issues such as Palestine.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE