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Cold War in the Islamic World – Saudi Arabia, Iran and the Struggle for Supremacy - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Cold War in the Islamic World: Saudi Arabia, Iran and the Struggle for Supremacy

Dilip Hiro


For four decades Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran have vied for influence in the Muslim world. At the heart of this ongoing Cold War between Riyadh and Tehran lie the Sunni-Shia divide, and the two countries’ diverse histories, socio-economic compositions, and claims to exceptionalism. Saudis present their rivalry with Iran stemming from conflict between Sunnis and Shias. But, according to Iran's ruling clerics, their republic is founded on Islamic precepts whereas Saudis’ dynastic rule lacks legitimacy in Islam. This foundational schism has played out in a geopolitical competitio ... More

Keywords: Saudi Arabia, Islamic Republic Iran, Sunnis, Shias, Syria, Iraq, Lebanese government, Yemeni civil war, Houthis, Muhammad bin Salman

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780190944650
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190944650.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Dilip Hiro, author