Iran's strategy with respect to Saudi Arabia is a key factor in the complex balance of power of the Middle East as the Iranian–Saudi rivalry impacts the dynamics of peace and conflict across the region from Yemen to Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Bahrain. What is Iranian strategic thinking on Saudi Arabia? And what have been the key factors driving the evolution of Iranian strategy towards the Kingdom? In what marks a substantive shift from its previous detente policy, we argue that Tehran has developed a new containment strategy in response to the perceived threat posed by an increasingly pro-active Saudi Arabia in the post-Arab Spring period. Incorporating rich fieldwork and interviews in the Middle East, this article delineates the theoretical contours of Iranian containment and contextualizes it within the framework of the Persian Gulf security architecture, demonstrating how rational geopolitical decision-making factors based on a containment strategy, rather than the primacy of sectarianism or domestic political orientations, shape Iran's Saudi strategy. Accordingly, the article traces Iranian strategic decision-making towards the Kingdom since the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and examines three cases of Iran's current use of containment against Saudi Arabia in Syria, Yemen and Qatar.
2021 Sep 15
From Detente to Containment: the Emergence of Iran's New Saudi Strategy.” International Affairs, 97, 3. Publisher's VersionAbstract. 5/2021. “
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2020 Mar 11
How Trump's Failed Maximum Pressure Policy Played a Role in Suleimani's Assassination”.Abstract. 2/24/2020. “
A military escalation with a maximalist political stance only further increases perceptions of U.S. regime-change policy in Iran without concern for the violent consequences stemming from such a campaign.
Will America Be Safer After the Assassination of General Suleimani?”.Abstract. 2/24/2020. “
The assassination significantly increases the likelihood that Iran will try to escape from the nuclear penalty box, thus making war more likely than not.