In the Name of God
Institute of Islamic World Future Studies
Special Report No. 15
Iranian Elites on Iran-Saudi Relations The View of
Iran and Saudi Arabia are two key players and rivals in the West Asia region, and in a larger area, in the geographical and ideological domain of the Islamic world. The relations between the two countries have always been a serious vicissitude. Before the Islamic Revolution, the two countries formed the bases of United States’ authority and power in the region, based on the Nixon Doctrine. Iran played the role of the military pillar and Saudi Arabia as the economic pillar. The occurrence of the Islamic Revolution in Iran collapsed one of the pillars of this doctrine, and in addition to regional equations, the equations between the two countries underwent major changes. The different approaches of the two countries in regional and global issues, the transformation of the two countries as symbols of the Shiite and Sunni religious poles, positions on relations with the United States and the Zionist regime, etc., generally led to a not so positive relationship between the two countries, and in some cases led to tension. The peak of tension between the two countries can be seen in the 1987 Mecca incident, the Mina Disaster in 2015, the execution of Sheikh Nimir in Saudi Arabia and the attack on the Saudi Embassy in Tehran, which ultimately led to breaking off the diplomatic relations between the two countries. In recent years, the emergence of regional crises such as the Syrian crisis, Saudi Arabia’s invasion of Yemen, the Qatari crisis, and … have also made the open and hidden tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia more distinct.
The importance of the relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and the numerous questions raised by the scientific and executive community about the reasons and causes of tension, and the prospect of relations between the two countries, led us to ask the opinion of a number of Iranian elites in the field of political science and international relations in executive and academic areas about the “Iranian elite’s perspective on Iran-Saudi relations”. The special report No. 15 of Islamic World Future Studies has been allocated to the interpretation of the results of these polls.