While the Saudi-Iranian relations have mostly been shaped by ‘peaceful rivalry’ since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, they increasingly turned hostile following the so-called ‘Arab Spring’. Building on recent dynamics in the Gulf region, high level politicians of Saudi Arabia and Iran have signaled serious willingness for dialogue and reconciliation. We argue here that these renewed efforts are primarily motivated by security and economic concerns but have also been supported through a series of informal interactions at different societal levels. While dialogue seems possible and desirable, its long-term prospects will be challenged by changing regional dynamics and the respective political will to overcome historical constructs of rivalry and regional competition.
Autor: Julia Pickhardt
Julia Pickhardt ist assoziierte Forscherin und Doktorandin am Programmbereich „Internationale Institutionen” der HSFK und forscht in ihrem Dissertationsvorhaben zu Agency in Multitrack-Friedensverhandlungen. // Julia Pickhardt is associated Doctoral Researcher at PRIF's Research Department “International Institutions” and conducts her Phd on agency in multitrack peace negotiations.