Why is there so much conflict in the Middle East? Why Iran and Saudi Arabia hate each other? Why so many terrorists? The wars in the Middle East, explained.
IRAN VS SAUDI ARABIA.
Iran and Saudi Arabia are the most powerful countries in the Middle East and both of them want to control the region.
In 1970, Iran and Saudi Arabia had monarchies supported by the US. The US wanted presence in the Middle East. Why? Remember the Cold War? The US (capitalists) and the Soviet Union (communists) each wanted to impose their ideology in the rest of the world.
THE PROBLEM: THE IRANIAN REVOLUTION.
In 1979, Iran had a revolution.
WHAT DO THEY WANT?
- Be independent from foreign powers (Iran strongly opposed foreign involvement).
- Replace Iran’s US backed monarchy with an islamic republic.
- Overthrow governments in neighbor countries (Afghanistan, Iraq, Tunisia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia…) to establish Islamic republics there.
THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC.
The Iranian Revolution ended with the creation of an Islamic republic. In this republic, laws made by the state can’t contradict Islamic laws (laws based on the Quran). For instance, intoxicants (like alcohol) aren’t allowed and a woman can have one husband, who can have up to four wives.
Saudi Arabia and others (like Iraq) with authoritarian monarchies feared that the Iranian revolution could inspire their own people to rise up against them.
WEAPONS, WEAPONS AND MORE WEAPONS.
Saudi Arabia began supporting governments to maintain their power (by giving them weapons and money), while Iran helped (with more money and weapons) revolutionaries in those countries rise up against them. This led to the creation of various terrorist groups in the region (e.g. Hezbollah in Lebanon).
This trend continues. Iran and Saudi Arabia each support different groups in neighbor countries, creating civil wars and making these countries to collapse.