Many in the West have looked upon the “Arab Spring” with hopeful optimism. But for the rulers of Riyadh the Arab Spring’s primary result has been a shaking of the strategic foundation and alignments that have shaped Saudi regional policy since the 1979 Iranian Revolution. The Saudis had previously believed that they were the leaders, with US backing, of a united Sunni coalition against Shiite Iran. Now its partners have fallen by the wayside – Egypt appears to be dropping out, Bahrain is threatened, and the US is wobbly. And, US President Obama’s speech on May 19 did not calm the Saudis down.
Saudi Arabia, Iran and America in the Wake of the Arab Spring