Owing to the new conflict among the major countries of the world representing the Sunni and Shiite communities, Saudi Arabia and Iran, there have been several debates about the hot situation between the two countries’ relations. Both the governments seem to be adamant on their cold war and not give in to the issues on both sides. The hatred between the two countries although dates back to the 7th century, however, the current situation has not escalated because of a historical or religious background to the aversion. After the execution of the Shiite cleric, Niml-Al-Niml, the situation seemed to boil up between the two countries and especially in Iran as a reaction and protest toward the execution which kept on pending since Niml’s arrest in the previous year.
The main motive of Saudi Arabia to execute the cleric was not to fuel up the differences between the two major sects in Islam, but to cease the militancy in the country that was growing amidst Niml and his supporters backed by Iran. This actually fueled up Saudi Arabia that this cleric is taking foreign support to actually make the citizens against the Saudi government. However, this cannot be said that this all is because of any religious gains or reasons. However, the strong action against Iran from Saudi Arabia has something to do with the recent past.
In the 1980’s when Iran was on the war against Iraq, the two Shiite countries; Saudi Arabia had backed Iraq through the country’s population is mostly Shiite. In 2003, when the US intervened in the war in Iraq for Saddam Hussein, the two countries that have come to Iraq and faced opposites now had a war against each other. Since then Iran and Saudi faced the odds and have sensitive relationships.
Recently, in the Syrian war and the war in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Iran have faced each other as opposites. The rise of ISIS, just as insurgents in Saudi Arabia rose against the Saudi government, was also a result of the Sunni minority in Syria who were thrashed by Syria and Iran being both Shiite.
After this tension which has already fueled up in Saudi Arabia after the execution, Saudi Arabia’s selection of Sectarianism is hugely affecting the country’s peace with the emergence of militias in the country against the government. Also, this has also fueled ISIS who mainly target the Shiite places even in the Saudi Arabia which is a Sunni country. However, Saudi Arabia never supported the ISIS, in fact, the ISIS intends to destroy the Saudi government, but fuel up sectarianism in the country by only targeting the Shiite sites.
Saudi Arab is at high risk as both the militias from the Shiite minority in the country as well as the ISIS seem to bring the country down. The lower prices of oil are one of the evidence of the economic downfall. Although there is a strong backing for Saudi Arabia only from the Middle East, there are still chances that insurgency might be fueling up in the country that has already taken a turn with the start of the year 2016.