Iran’s foreign policy in Post-invasion Iraq
Saudi-Iranian rivalry and the major cause – the division of Shia and Sunni
Table of Contents
Key Theories 4
I. Realism 4
II. Liberlism 6
IV. Security Dilemma………………………………………………………………8
Shia and Sunni…………………………………………………………………………9
Middle East is one of the most complex regions in the world. Currently there are 4 failing states and 3 wars (Iraq, Syria and Yemen), with major powers increasingly taking opposite sides. Countless armed militias and terrorist groups such as ISIS, Hezbollah and Al-Queda are spreading violence across borders. The region has seen conflict after conflict going back well into the 20th century. But among all the uprisings, civil wars and insurgencies, two countries always seem to be involved- Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Iran and Saudi Arabia are bitter rivals, and their feud is the key to understanding conflicts in the Middle East. Interestingly, Saudis and Iranians have never declared war on each other. Instead, both the countries fought indirectly by supporting opposing sides in other countries (War in Iraq, Syrian Civil War and Yemen Civil War) and inciting conflicts which is known as “Proxy welfare”.
Due to this it had a devastating effect on the region as Iran and Saudi Arabia had strings attached to these countries as of now focusing on Iraq pulling to the extreme. Both Iran and Saudi see these civil war as both tremendous threats and potentially enormous opportunities
A noteworthy piece of Iranian outside arrangement toward the new Iraq is affected by a provoked history of rivalry and unbalanced Sunni predominance over Iraq’s regular assets, potential monetary quality and key geological position. They are not only the two big powerful regions but at the same time they are also major oil producing power.
Key Theories of Iran and Saudi Arabia
1. Realism Theory in the division of Iran and Saudi Arabia
Realism is one of the oldest theoretical approach that has been in the international relations for a long time. The term realism is hard to compete with a paradigm or perspective which is called realism. It is a theory essentially about power and security. States relentlessly seek power and security because they see themselves in a self-help system. In this case both the countries wants to be mutually dependent. Iran and Saudi Arabia sees the world in terms of tragedy and evil because the word “power” controls them now.
The rivalry between Iran and Saudi has been started for more than 4 decades and this is due to the Islamic split – Shia and Sunni in which Iran is concentrating on the Shiite power and Saudi Arabia for Sunni.
It is considered that Sunni is the majority group of Islam and Shiites are different in size of the groups. The dispute started over Islamic leadership following the death of the Prophet Muhammad.
According to John J. Mearsheimer (a scholar), the states seek for total power with the ultimate purpose of becoming on the top as in being the Hegemon. The political relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia was in a chaos. Since the rivalry the two states are not in good terms but in tragic terms. People are. Iraq, Syria and Yemen as the neighbors cannot predict what Iran and Saudi Arabia so unfortunately without knowing the intentions they are held at risk. And due to this reason, people are being killed indiscriminately as of now. If either of the countries won, one or the other neighboring states are at loss. Every state remains surrounded by other states, and no matter their character, they must compete.
A state that seeks to shift the balance of power in secret is indistinguishable from the state that legitimately seeks to maintain the balance. These states are respectively referred to as revisionist and status quo. But, there is no goal that interferes with a state’s primary goal, which is survival which is the preservation of borders and the maintenance of self-rule. States naturally pursue other projects, but they cannot reach completion after the expiration of the state
2. Liberalism – Liberalism is one of the theory of international relations that refers to the independence of every individual. According to this theory, every international or interstate dispute can reach to the peaceful world. Liberalism mentions that everyone in the world want to have peaceful and happy life, but it is the government of the countries which interferes in international relations and creates problematic issues for their nation. In liberalism, the states are important, but they give importance to other actors who operate in the global system which includes institutions, individuals etc. Iraq being in the middle of Iran and Saudi Arabia has lost its natural life due to the interference of the governments and the political parties who is creating problem to reside in Iraq. If either Saudi or Iran is ready for agreement to remove the conflict for the betterment of both the states, then they could maintain a peaceful agreement and would not attempt to destroy the nation. This would also solve the problem peacefully by understanding the loss if Iraq’s lives in the war. Iraq creation is a combination of people from a Christian community or Islamic which consists of both Shia and Sunni.
It’s the thinking mentality that we agree how we act and how we treat each other. So, for a constructivist you need to have a set of ideas in order to have international politics that focuses on the nature of norms, identity and social interaction between various actors in global politic system. Constructivists illustrates that the ideas are recognized ahead of time when the actual events happen. For this instance, the rival is going on for the past 40 years and there are no signs of declining. Back in 1929, the future looked bright for the two nations they even had signed “Saudi-Iranian Friendship Treaty” and the diplomatic relations were on the rise but then slowly Iran had the idea of modernizing Saudi Arabia, but in response Saudi Arabia reminded Iran that 90% of the population are Muslims and they need to respect that. In fact, despite both the countries being predominantly Muslim, each has a different and opposing Islamic sect as the religious majority. The minds were occupied by the lust for power and by the time this lust was in command to regulate the ideas. This shows the need of social concepts and identities in shaping the decision making and help to define the goal which will later help restructure political power. Constructivists do not contest that nations pursue their national interests but will abstract the interests than the realists. Constructivism recovers the elements of circumstance, interpretation, and social relationships in understanding this pursuit of self-interest. Norms, culture, and identity construct the reality that gives meaning to human interactions and experiences, constituting the perspective in which actions are interpreted and consequently how they are responded to.
3. Security Dilemma
The ideological tensions and rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran in many places in the Middle East are creating a situation of a security dilemma in the two country relations. The anarchical nature of the international system is making uncertainty in the Middle East; uncertainty is developing fears among the states of the region; fear is leading to power competition and rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the two main ideological powerhouses of the region; power competition is leading to a situation of a security dilemma in the relations between the two states Each state thinks that by increasing its relative power it will be more secure. But the fact is that this action compels the other state to take countermeasures to enhance its own security. This situation of search for security is making the two states less secure. As Iran’s capabilities and power continue to grow, Saudi Arabia will be nervous about what this portends for both regional security and its own primacy in the Muslim world. And if Saudi
Arabia remains hostile to Iranian line of Islam Iran will become increasingly anxious about how much Saudi Arabia will invest in containing Iran.
Shia and Sunni
In today’s world, Muslims are represented as Shia or Sunni. In Iraq there is wide group of Christians and Muslims –Kurds the locals of Iraq are considered as either the two religions. The changes came together with Iran’s Islamic revolution of 1979, a turning-point in Middle Eastern history and especially in Shia branch everywhere.
The struggle of Sunni and Shia communities was started over 10 decades before the current states of Saudi Arabia or Iran even came into existence, It is critical to understand the conflict between Sunni-Shia for understanding of Saudi-Iranian rivalry. One key driver of the instability is the 1400-hundred-year-old sectarian split between Sunni and Shia.
Sectarianism has made them aware the policy priorities of Iran and Saudi Arabia. Each country has shaped alliances with countries that share their version of Islam. However, this is not merely, or perhaps primarily, a non-secular struggle
It is vital not to exaggerate the division. Sunnis and Shia share central convictions and have existed together for quite a long time – the hostility amongst Iran and Saudi Arabia is better comprehended as far as a power battle in the Middle East and past. Due to the involvement of Iran and Iran being less powerful than the other state which is more powerful is creating proxy wars..
Due to these problems there’s an opportunity wherever Persia and Saudi might move into a war within the future.
Only once understanding the context of various aspects of the Saudi-Iranian group action, policy manufacturers begin to trust peace or started work for calming down the distress within the space. the center East was probing associate degree unstable part from an extended time. The strategy of the policy manufacturers have a responsibility to scale back the pressures between Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Persia. Terror teams, recognizing the ability vacuums caused by instability, have taken advantage of things to expand their gains. huge unrest within the geographic area should be higher managed as its impacts are and can still be felt globally.
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