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World Citizen: Saudi Arabia and Iran Face Off in Yemen

Thursday, Nov. 26, 2009

Relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran have ranged over the years from coolly cordial to openly hostile. After all, the two countries see themselves as rivals in the quest for regional influence and for leadership of the Muslim world. They have very different histories and conflicting political ideologies, and they stand on opposing sides of the Shiite-Sunni divide. In recent months, strains in the relationship have greatly intensified. Today, the differences between Tehran and Riyadh have brought the neighbors dangerously close to open confrontation.

How serious is the crisis? Consider the recent headline in the respected pan-Arab newspaper Alsharq al-Awsat: "So: It is no longer a war of ideas!" ...

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