Iran-Saudi Rivalry
Is Saudi Arabia Offering an Olive Branch to Iran?
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  • S.C. Schwarz

    Since the US is withdrawing from the field, our former allies are seeking accommodation where they can. Look to see this trend accelerate in eastern Europe, the Middle East, and around the South China Sea.

  • Iran’s history of relations with its neighbors has been a rocky one, made even more recently because of its push for acquiring a nuclear capability and its oversized support for Assad in Syria with cash, weapons and fighters. Iran’s neighbors view these as destabilizing events, but just like having to live next to an unpleasant neighbor on your street, sometimes the best strategy is to make nice and bring him a pie in the hopes he doesn’t shoot up your house. Something similar is going on in the Gulf and Kuwait’s visit which is just a reminder of the very delicate position many of these nations have in their relationships with Iran. Ultimately though, what reassures Saudi Arabia and many of those other nations is the rock solid support the U.S. has given those Gulf States in the event of Iranian military intervention. That support is crucial in offsetting Iran’s growing ambitions and is the unspoken and often unseen strength in meeting Iranian ambitions. The fact that U.S. naval warships are allowed port, supply and repair facilities in many of these Gulf States despite Iranian objections is testament to the power dynamics at play in the Gulf.

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