The Real Reasons Saudi Arabia Hates Iran

The Saudis Hate Iran Because It’s Not a Monarchy

Everyone knows that the Saudi Arabia – the center of Sunni Islam – hates Iran because it is the center for the rival Shia Muslim sect.

The Saudis – close U.S. allies – also hate Iran because it is allied with Russia.

But there is a third, little-known reason why the Saudi government hates Iran.

As the Gulf Cooperation Council – the official council for the Arab Gulf States, comprised of the monarchies of Saudi Arabi, Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Omanwrites:

More than any other single factor, the Iranian Revolution helped to coalesce the security concerns of Saudi Arabia and the other monarchies in the Gulf region. As the largest Arab monarchy, Saudi Arabia was in a position to lead the others toward cooperative efforts. The impact of the Iranian Revolution on Saudi Arabia was manifold. The revolution destroyed the most powerful monarchy in the Gulf area. It was the second revolution to send shock waves throughout the Gulf region, the first being the revolution in Iraq that destroyed the monarchy in 1958. The Iraqi revolution had been followed by deteriorating relations between Riyadh and Baghdad, when the Baathist regime tried to subvert the Gulf monarchies. The Iranian example, however, appeared more menacing. The balance of forces seemed to have changed further against the monarchical regimes in the region because Iran, like Iraq, replaced the monarchy with a republic. Whatever course the new Iranian republic took, its very existence would threaten Saudi Arabia and other Gulf monarchies.

In other words, the Saudi government hates Iran because it is a republic, while Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states are monarchies.

Indeed, Vijay Prashad – Professor of South Asian History at Trinity College, Connecticut – said today (starting at 33:22) that the Saudis want to crush Iran so that it cannot set an example showing that Muslims can live in a republic without a monarchy.

Prashad points out that the “Saudis made claim that a Muslim country has to be a monarchy”, and Iran’s very existence undermines that claim.

Why does the U.S. support Saudi Arabia and not Iran?

As Lawrence Davidson – author of Islamic Fundamentalism, and professor of history at West Chester University – explains:

Saudi Arabia is a monarchy without representative institutions. Iran, though ideologically authoritarian and possessing the dictatorial office of jurisprudent, is a republic with a parliament and an electoral process. Saudi Arabia strictly forbids female participation in the public realm, whereas Iran leaves some space for women in this regard.

Given these comparisons, it would seem that, in terms of institutions and their potential for “democratic evolution,” the Islamic Republic in Iran has much more to recommend it to the West than does Saudi Arabia.  Why then, one might ask, is the United States so much more hostile to Iran than to Saudi Arabia?


For decades, the United States supported the shah’s monarchy in Iran and continued to do so even after it was clear that it was unpopular, corrupt, and oppressive. When the shah was overthrown, the fundamentalists who took power identified the United States with the deposed government. The new Iranian government’s predictable hostility made difficult any reconciliation between the two powers and fueled continued American animosity.

Indeed, the U.S. supports virtually all of the dictatorial monarchies in the Arab Gulf.

And, of course, there is oil and pipelines play a big part.

Postscript:   By way of background, the CIA admits that the U.S. overthrew the moderate, suit-and-tie-wearing, Democratically-elected prime minister of Iran in 1953. He was overthrown because he had nationalized Iran’s oil, which had previously been controlled by BP and other Western oil companies. As part of that action, the CIA admits that it hired Iranians to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its prime minister.

If the U.S. hadn’t overthrown the moderate Iranian government, the fundamentalist Mullahs would have never taken over. (Moreover, the U.S. has had a large hand in strengthening radical Islam in the Middle East by supporting radicals to fight the Soviets and others).

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  • Carl_Herman

    Nice, GW; thank you. Yeah, that’s a central theme: the .01% of imperialists/colonialists/wanna-be masters will take all actions of propaganda and force to be dictators. The point seems to be what we’re all taught in school: use We the People as work animals, and exploit resources for their private short-sighted lust for material gain.

    So, at this point in the game, We the People have a voice and choice to either continue as their work animals, OR to expose and end this game in order to play a new one of a working planet for all inhabitants.

    It all starts with seeing the game board, and making this choice.

  • Anthony

    Wrong from the start: Saudi Arabia, like Qatar, is not the center of Sunni Islam, it is the center of Western-fueled Salafism-Wahabism (e.g. Talibans, Lashkare Toiba, Al Qaeda, ISIS, “scientific miracles in the Quran”, etc.) and the “moderate” Islam which quietly backs that Western-fueled Salafism-Wahabism (e.g. Qatar Foundation, Al Jazeera, Jordan, etc.). The center of Sunni Islam is Al Azhar in Egypt just as Qom is in Iran or Najaf is in Iraq for Shia Islam. Saudias Islam is new-age, synchronous with the British colonization at the backdoor of the Ottoman empire and fabrication of Arab nationalisms and new re-interpretations of Islam for the benefit of Western colonialists. It is as new age as Mormonism or Jehova’s Witnesses are to Christianity. The article is equally riddled in ignorance to the very end and insistence on official US government propaganda lines, especially Democrat party ones (e.g. the revolution goes back to 1953, Iranian history goes back to 1953, US-Iranian relations begin in 1953, Argo/Hollywood tell the history correctly, Iran is a fundamentalist dictatorship because instead of having a powerful media controlled by few corporations driven by the filthy rich of its country filtering “electable” candidates for elections or driving public policies and public opinion, it has a supreme leader doing so who can be replaced at any moment by a council of other jurists who are chosen by the people in provincial elections, etc.). When will Americans who claim to talk about “the other side” stop reading Iran and the entire world from the ignorance of some Western “experts” who are responsible for the lack of understanding in the world today between different cultures?

  • GD

    This article is mostly a piece of disinformation. The main reason why the US supports Saudi Arabia is because, Saudi Arabia hates Iran and Iran supports Hezbollah , and that automatically makes Iran and any other country that supports Hezbollah (Syria for example) an enemy of the ZOG (Zionist Occupied Government) of the US, Of course, the coward that runs this blog, will never dare mention the fact that the real enemy of the US are the jews that control the US government and its foreign policy and the Federal Reserve..not the “elites” or the 1%.