by Ryan McMaken
The Iranian regime and the Saudi Arabian regime are longtime enemies, with both vying for control of the Persian Gulf region. Part of the conflict stems from religious differences — differences between Shia and Sunni muslim groups. But much of the conflict stems from mundane desires to establish regional dominance.
For more than forty years, however, Saudi Arabia has had one important ace in the hole in terms of its battle with Iran: the US’s continued support for the Saudi regime.
But why should the US continue to so robustly support this dictatorial regime? Certainly, these close relations can’t be due to any American support for democracy and human rights. The Saudi regime is one of the world’s most illiberal and anti-democratic regimes.