The Persian Gulf War all started because of one country’s greed for oil. Iraq accused Kuwait of pumping oil and not sharing the benfits, and Kuwait was pumping more oil than allowed under quotas set by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, it decreased the price of oil, Iraq's main export. Iraq's complaints against Kuwait grew more and more harsh, but they were mostly about money. When Iraqi forces began to assemble near the Kuwaiti border in the summer of 1990, several Arab states tried to intervene the dispute. Kuwait didn’t want to look weak so they didn’t ask for any help from the United States or other non-Arab powers for support. Arab mediators convinced Iraq and Kuwait to negotiate their differences in Saudi Arabia, on
The United States relationship with Saudi Arabia is one that begun on February 14, 1945 when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt met King Al-Saud at the Great Bitter Lake in the Suez Canal. After World War II the United States became the most influential foreign power in Saudi Arabia. US’s main interest was focused in the direction of the oil industry. Then in 1960 Saudi Arabia was one of the main driving forces in the creation of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). During the Cold War, Saudis favored the United States while the two also continued to but heads over the issue concerning the ever present Israeli-Arab conflict. Americas constant support for Israel has, and will continue to be an issue that brings about confrontation between the Saudis and the United States. Foreign relation ties never were as intense as they were during the Persian Gulf War. Iraq's invasion of Kuwait posed a potential threat to the Saudis provoking the United States to intervene. The Saudis allowed the United States to have access to their bases during this time. Since that time, our troops have remained there which is something that has led to much controversy because many Islamist believe that we our occupying their holy land. This has sparked many extremist to take action, most notably Osama Bin Laden who used this reasoning to justify the horrors of 9/11. Post 9/11 opened a new chapter to US-Saudi
The countries present their ideologies to the outside world as holy nations. Recently there has been significant evidence on major shifts with increasing polarization and creation of new alliances. These strategic actions produce both risks and opportunities; however, in the Middle East, there has been growing sectarianism in the conflicts (El Fadl, 2005). The sectarianism plays a great role in the political conflicts within Saudi Arabia and Iran. While both Saudi Arabia and Iran claim to have theocracy model states based on Islam, Saudi Arabia is considered a Theo-monarchy with strong relations to Wahhabism, a branch of Sunni Islam, while Iran’s political system has democratic components and is based on Shiism (Al-Rasheed, 1996). The differences in religious practices and ethnicity between the two nations have contributed to the dilemma of instability in the Middle
Conflict over energy resources—and the wealth and power they create—has become an increasingly prominent feature for geopolitics particularly in the Middle East . The discovery of oil in the late nineteenth century added a dimension to the region as major outside states powers employed military force to protect their newly acquired interests in the Middle East. The U.S.’s efforts to secure the flow of oil have led to ever increasing involvement in the Middle East region’s political affairs and ongoing power struggles. By the end of the twentieth century, safeguarding the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf had become one of the most important functions of the U.S. military establishment. The close relationship between the United States and the Saudi royal family was formed in the final months of World War II, when U.S. leaders sought to ensure preferential access to Saudi petroleum. The U.S. link with Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region has demonstrated to be greatly beneficial to both parties, yet it has also led to ever deepening U.S. involvement in regional politics.
The topic for this capstone project is “Saudi Arabia versus Iran and the Ongoing Sunni-Shia Conflict”. The paper will delve into the historical split between the Sunni and the Shia, as well as the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Iran given the fact that Saudi Arabia is a predominantly Sunni state while Iran is a predominantly Shia state. Evidently, this ancient divide is contributing in one way or the other to the resurgence of conflict in Muslim countries especially in the Middle East. For instance, it is this struggle between the Sunni and the Shia that feeds the current Syrian civil war, which is threatening to change the Middle East. The divide has also fueled violence in other Gulf countries such as Iraq, Bahrain, Yemen, as well as Lebanon. Notably however, the entire conflicts are not defined in respect to this Shia Sunni divide since there are many other economic, political, as well as geostrategic factors that fuel the conflicts. Nonetheless, the split is one prism that can help in understanding these tensions (Luomi 36). The two nations of Saudi Arabia and Iran are competing for power and leadership in the Islamic world; consequently, they are employing many tactics including the sectarian divide to attain these ambitions.
Since the Saudi Arabia is being as Sunni Muslims while Iran is Shia Muslims, causing an immediate hostility and tense relationship between the countries. The differences in the religious and economic, somehow impact the United States. "Shiites make up approximately 10 to 15 percent of the global Muslim population", but in the Middle East the large number is in Iran’s population. Sunnis are the majority. The separation between Shiites and Sunnis dates back to the time of choosing the Prophet Mohammed’s successor. Shiites believe that "leader should be a direct male descendant of the Prophet." on the other hand, Sunnis believe that "leaders can be chosen by the community consensus." The leading points of dispute between Iranian and Saudi Arabian
Shiites in Iran are being oppressed in the areas of jobs, housing, and political rights. Because the religious majority differs between countries, either the Sunnis or Shiites are being subjected to oppressive practices. For instance, in Bahrain the Sunni majority is exercising oppressive practices against the Shiites. This angers the Shiite population. Secondly, in Iraq, Sunni businessmen are having trouble getting import and export licenses because, unlike Bahrain, Iraq has a Shiite majority population. However, the Shiites actions on Sunnis are out of revenge. A former Sunni leader, Saddam Hussein, imprisoned, tortured, and even executed Shiites for no apparent reason. This increased tensions between the two groups and also contributed to the violent
The area of the Middle East is a conglomerate of many different religious groups. In these religions there are various factions, and these factions have often led to violence, revolts, and war. For the Islamic people, they split after the death of Muhammad, when they differed on who should take the place of the Prophet. Shia Muslims believe that the rightly predecessor was Ali, who was Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law. On the other hand, Sunni Muslims believe that the leadership rightly belonged to Abu Bakr (Lecture.08.31). While today most Muslims identify as Sunni Muslims, including the Kurds, another highly active group in the area, there continues to be tight tensions between the two groups. In countries such as Iran, Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt the split between Shias and Sunnis is toxic. Western intervention in the area has not helped quell these pressures, but rather, it has further increased the tensions, by
While the Iran-Iraq War during the 1980's may have permanently altered the course of progress in Iran and Iraq, the war also altered the resulting permanent involvement of the rest of the world in the middle-east. The rich and complicated history in Iraq has established numerous cultural and ethnic traditions that all play a part in where the country is today. The Iran-Iraq War brought into focus some of those traditions and how they conflicted, while also bringing Iraq and its economic situation into the spotlight. Being on top of some of the most mineral rich soil in the world makes Iraq a major contributor to the world's economy through petroleum and crude oil exports. This, among other reasons, ties nations
This Shiite component is a very important element of foreign policy as it is what forms Iranian identity, along with Iranian nationalism. Shi’ism is very different from Sunni Islam. It is infinitely more religious and plays a much larger role in people’s daily lives. It is because of this that even the most secular of the political groups that partook in the revolution were still very much religious. After the coup staged by the CIA against Mossadeq, who attempted to nationalize the oil industry, the United States became highly unpopular with the Iranian people and was viewed as a counterforce to Iranian nationalism. This strongly Shiite identity is also why the referendum resulted in the establishment of an Islamic Republic. It is also important as it set one of Iran’s major foreign policy goals and has been a driving force for many of its strategic decisions in the region. Following the establishment of the Islamic Republic, Iran severed ties with Israel, a far cry from what relations had been like, and even ceased to recognize it as an
In the heart of the Middle East is a country known by many Westerners for its oil production and, often, extremist beliefs of groups within the country. The country is Saudi Arabia, and though it is thought of by many as a rather backward country, Saudi Arabia has a rich history and culture, and it is a country that revolves around Islam and the worship of Allah as the one true God.
The economic interactions between China and Saudi Arabia are far more relevant than the political ones in the ongoing academic discussions. The mainstream literatures are more enthusiasm on the issues of oil and energy security and put their strategic dialogues into a secondary role which has only limited influence between the two states.
Riyadh has returned to Iraq after a long absence, hoping to increase political influence and explore a new market. A military confrontation with Iran is counterproductive to Saudi engagement in Iraq. While in Syria, Saudi Arabia has been keeping a low profile with an influence restricted to elements in the exiled civilian opposition.
Iran’s nuclear program is very debatable and has been even more debatable ever since they started enriching their uranium that can be possibly become a nuclear weapon. This gives the west and Israel a reason to be more worried about the issue. However in all of this there is an admission lately because Iran and the P 5 +1 have reach a nuclear deal in order to loosen the harsh sanctions they have received resulting in billions of dollars back to the Iranians in return for shutting down the program for half a year. However if this politeness and skill with people fails then it is time for crime-prevention method to go into play here and possible military action. There are other nations that have nuclear weapons like India and Pakistan without a permission slip. So all in all it seems to be unfair that Iran is being discriminated in all of this but there are clear differences between Iran and Pakistan or even India. Now some political scientists believe that Iran independent power is being violated if they have to sign a permission slip to make legal their nuclear program according the IAEA. This would have been a good argument if Iran didn’t accept the deal. But Iran did and they agree to the UN that when the parts deal demands the Iranians to reduce their purity on their uranium to a lower percentage where it is suited for nuclear power only to prevent a nuclear armed Iran. So in terms of a nuclear program the Iranians already accepted to do this directly or indirectly even