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This chapter is dedicated to how Iran and Saudi Arabia might ultimately find a pathway toward reconciliation. In the background, it asks how the German-Franco relationship can, after decades of enmity, serve as a blueprint for resolving geopolitical antagonisms. Iran and Saudi Arabia find themselves in a geopolitical context that has undergone manifold transformations in the past decades. The Islamic Revolution in Iran 1979, the Iran-Iraq war from 1980 to 1988, the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the Arab Spring in 2010 and 2011, and the wars and conflicts in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen have all impacted the relationship between two countries competing for geopolitical and ideological predominance. In all of these contexts and conflicts, Tehran and Riyadh have positioned themselves at opposite ends of the spectrum. While their rivalry might not be the root cause, it is often a driver of currently ongoing conflicts in the Middle East.
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Conversations with interlocutors in both countries.
The assessments shared here are based on impressions obtained during visits of both countries, continuous exchanges with interlocutors from Iran and Saudi Arabia, as well as the constant media review of both contexts.
For a brief project description online, see https://carpo-bonn.org/en/projekte/iran-saudi-dialog-initiative/. Accessed 02 March 2020. Many publications are derived from this format.
U.S. officials started to refer to their policy as maximum pressure in 2017.
- Iran and Saudi Arabia’s Difficult Pathway Toward Reconciliation: A Conversation
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