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Saudi - Iran ties: checkered history

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Since the revolution broke out in Iran, it has been facing accusations of trying to export the principles of its revolution and undermine the social fabric in the neighboring countries and other ones as well.

For more than three decades, the relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran witnessed remarkable fluctuations, which were represented in cutting ties.

The first time the ties were broken was in 1988 following the events in Mecca in the past year, which was caused by Iranian pilgrims, and led to the death of a large number of pilgrims.

This was followed by the occupation of the Saudi embassy by protesters, and the death of a Saudi diplomat due to his wounds. Moreover, the protesters burnt the Kuwaiti embassy.

In 1999, Mohammad Khatami was elected President, and there was a breakthrough between the two countries that was crowned by a security agreement signed in 2001.

However, the ties deteriorated after the occupation of Iraq in 2003 and the Iranian control over the political scene in Baghdad with the expansion of Iran's nuclear programs at the beginning of the new millennium. Saudi Arabia had also informed an Iranian envoy in 2007 that Tehran exposes the Gulf region to danger.

The threats continued; and the United States revealed in 2012 a plot to assassinate the then Saudi Ambassador in Washington, Adel Al-Jubeir. However, the most dangerous threat started to become clear at the outbreak of revolutions where Iran tried to exploit them in a number of Arab states through its direct intervention in Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria, or indirect intervention as was the case in Bahrain, in an attempt to ignite sedition.