Assessments

The Saudi-Iranian Spat Is Emblematic of the Region's Power Struggle

Jan 4, 2016 | 23:49 GMT
The Saudi-Iranian Row Reveals an Ongoing Power Struggle
An Iranian woman holding a placard takes part in a demonstration outside the Saudi Embassy in Tehran on Jan. 3 to protest the execution of prominent Shiite Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr by Saudi authorities.
(ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

The diplomatic crisis that erupted over the weekend between Saudi Arabia and Iran is certainly noisy, but it is merely the manifestation of a deepening geopolitical rift in the region. With the United States attempting to balance the region and Iran being able to shed its pariah status as part of that effort, friction between the region's prominent Sunni and Shiite players was already escalating....

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