The Tension Between Iran and Saudi Arabia Has Little to Do With Religion

Saudi Arabia miscalculated on how global observers might react to its execution of Shia cleric Sheikh al-Nimr. Reflecting poor judgment and insecurity, the execution “demonstrates that the kingdom has lost its cool,” writes Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, a philosophy professor at the University of London. He suggests the notion that the Sunni-Shia divide in Islam spurs conflict is “analytically flawed.” Both the Iranian and Saudi governments have ties with countries outside their respective Shia and Sunni spheres, and Sunnis and Shias work and live side by side in throughout the Muslim world. Instead, a few leaders emphasize the divide to incite resentment and gain power. The Saudi kingdom resents the Iranian-US rapprochement, and seeks to distract its own people from growing demands for human rights in the region. World security is linked to events in the Middle East, notes Adib-Moghaddam. He urges Europe and the United States to support restoring Saudi-Iranian communications and to encourage a regional Organisation for Peace and Cooperation in West Asia. – YaleGlobal

The Tension Between Iran and Saudi Arabia Has Little to Do With Religion

World politics is a godless realm – the tension between Iran and Saudi-Arabia is about regional dominance
Arshin Adib-Moghaddam
Friday, January 8, 2016

Arshin Adib-Moghaddam is professor in Global Thought and Comparative Philosophies at SOAS, University of London and the author of “On the Arab Revolts and the Iranian Revolution: Power and Resistance Today” (Bloomsbury, 2014). 

The Independent

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