In this environment major iranian leaders have often

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Unformatted text preview: 012 1 Saudi Instability Coming 112 Oil DDW 2012 1 Arab Spring could easily spread to Saudi Arabia – Economic benefits are key Terrill, SSI’s Middle East spet served as a Middle East nonproliferation analyst for the International Assessments Division of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 11 W. Andrew Terrill, SSI’s Middle East spet. Prior to his appointment, he served as a Middle East nonproliferation analyst for the International Assessments Division of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 12-11, [“The Saudi-Iranian Rivalry and the Future of Middle East Security,” Strategic Studies Institute, http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pubs/display.cfm? pubID=1094 Despite their competition with Riyadh, the Iranians most serious military rival for influence within the region is the United States, not Saudi Arabia. Correspondingly, Tehran often finds itself in the difficult position of opposing Saudi foreign policy objectives while seeking to avoid pushing the United States and Saudi Arabia into a closer political relationship. In this environment, major Iranian leaders have often found it necessary to reassure the Saudis in public that they do not wish them ill.7 Rather, they maintain that the United States is seeking to “dupe” the Gulf States into believing that the Islamic Republic constitutes a threat when it does not.8 In some ways, the competition between Iran and the GCC states mirrors that of the United States with Iran, while in other ways these rivalries differ. Both regional leaderships are aware of ways in which they can seek advantages by maintaining a civil dialogue with the other party when this is possible. The Iranians are often at odds with Saudi Arabia and its allies, but sometimes seek to project that opposition in ways that focus most of their criticism on the United States. Conversely, Saudi Arabia remains alert to the danger that an assertive opposition to Iran could cause Tehran to escalate its acts of hostility. At various points in the relationship, Riyadh has even provided reassuring comments about Iran’s peaceful intensions and high level visits have occurred between the two countries. Additionally, neither Tehran nor Riyadh is immune to the political turbulence now sweeping the Middle East. Saudi Arabia has seen limited levels of political discontent during the Arab Spring, while Iran experienced serious unrest in 2009 following its disputed June presidential election, which is widely understood to have been “stolen” by the Ahmadinejad government.9 Saudi Arabia seems to have contained serious domestic unrest by introducing massive new economic benefits programs for its citizens designed to increase their stake in the current political system. Iran, by contrast, used repression to defeat the Green Movement, which called for substantial reform and the decertification of President Ahmadinejad’s disputed re-election victory in the immediate aftermath of the 2009 election crisis. To the extent possible, both countries will correspondingly adju...
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This note was uploaded on 01/30/2013 for the course ECON 101 taught by Professor Burke during the Spring '13 term at Southern Arkansas University.

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