Iranian-Saudi Rivalry since 1979: In the Words of Kings and Clerics

Iranian-Saudi Rivalry since 1979

In the Words of Kings and Clerics
Publisher: I.B. Tauris
Date of Publication:
Number of Volumes: Paperback
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Product details:

No. of pages:480 pages
Size:234x156 mm
Long description:
The fraught relationship between Saudi Arabia and Iran is usually attributed to sectarian differences, even by the states' own elites. However, this book shows that in their official speeches, newspaper editorials and Friday sermons, these elites use sectarian and nationalist references and tropes to denigrate each other and promote themselves in the eyes of their respective constituencies in the region.

Talal Mohammad, who is fluent in both Arabic and Persian, examines Saudi-Iranian rivalry using discourse analysis of these religious, political and journalistic sources. Tracing what has been produced since 1979 in parallel, he argues for a consistent pattern of mutual misrepresentation, whereby each frames its counterpart as the 'Other' to which a specific political agenda can be justified and advanced. The book covers key events including the Iranian Revolution, the invasion of Kuwait in 1990, the Taliban war, the fall of Saddam, the Arab Spring, the rise of Mohammed bin Salman, and the war on ISIS. While until now Saudi-Iranian rivalry has been understood in primarily sectarian or geopolitical terms, the author argues here that the discursive othering serves as a propagandist function that supports more fundamental political and geopolitical considerations.
Table of Contents:

Part I. Khomeini's Revolution and Islamic Leadership, 1979-1988
Chapter 1. Imam Ali's Government & The Kingdom of Islam
Chapter 2. Export of the Revolution and the GCC
Chapter 3. Iranian Sacred Defence & the Arab Qadissiya

Part 2. Vali-ye Faqih II and the de facto King, 1989-2002
Chapter 4. Arab Treachery in the Persian Gulf: Iran's 'Active Neutrality'
Chapter 5. Against All Odds: Abdullah and Rafsanjani's Seeds of Détente
Chapter 6. 'Dialogue of Civilizations' and Islamic Partnership

Part 3. The Rise of the Shi'i Crescent, 2003-2010
Chapter 7. Fall of Saddam and the Rise of Iran: Return to Radicalism?
Chapter 8. Contest for Arab Leadership: Hezbollah's 34-Day War
Chapter 9. The Road to Jerusalem: A Question of Islamic and Arab Legitimacy and Leadership

Part 4. Iran and Saudi After 2011: The Battle for Regional Hegemony, 2011-2020
Chapter 10. Arab Spring: Bahrain, Eastern Saudi Arabia, and Syria
Chapter 11. A Treaty with the World: Iran Goes Nuclear
Chapter 12. The Fight to Save Islam: The War on ISIS
Chapter 13. 'Maximum Pressure': A Cold War Turns Hot