THE ROLE OF CULTURE IN SAUDI - IRANIAN CONFRONTATION
Culture is regarded as a good source to bring nations close to one another. Saudi Arabia and Iran are two important Muslim powers but their relationship has never been good throughout the history due to many factors. The factors that contribute to their worse relationship are cultural, economic, political, and sectarian. The Iranian revolution of 1979 escalated the tension as it challenged the hegemony of Saudi Arabia that was derived from Wahhabi sect by the Saudi Arabian rulers. Wahhabism is a Sunni sect in Muslims that has affected about all aspects of life not only in Saudi Arabia but in the entire Middle Eastern region too. The revolution of 1979 in Iran replaced the old monarchy and Khomeini introduced his own version of Islam like Wahhabism of Abd al Wahhab. Both Wahhabism and Khomeneism affected the cultures of Saudi Arabia and Iran respectively. In this paper, the role of culture in Saudi-Iranian relations has been highlighted.