What are the reasons of strife between Saudi Arabia and Iran? Do you think that Iran-Saudi Arabia strife may have substantial ramifications for India. Discuss.

The most important geopolitical factor in West Asia is the sectarian strife between Sunni and Shia camps represented by Saudi Arabia and Iran respectively. The competition between Saudi Arabia and Iran for attaining regional hegemony and supremacy has led to the Syrian crisis and instability in the West Asian region.
India’s relation with the GCC countries is cordial. GCC countries have become India’s prominent oil and gas suppliers. It is estimated that 80 lakh Indians live and work in these countries and send annual remittances of more than $35 billion to India. So, the policies of these countries in general and the policies of Saudi Arabia and Iran, in particular will have deep impact on India’s well being and security.
India has excellent relations with Iran, Israel and Saudi Arabia simultaneously. India’s noninterventionist policy in regional disputes has resulted in finding many allies for it than the foes.
It is also believed that threat posed by Islamic State to India is less significant than the one posed by Pakistani ISI sponsored terrorism. However, with huge Indian diaspora in West Asian region the area remains a huge concern for India. Therefore, only from the angle of protection of its Indian diaspora, peace and tranquility is very much needed between Sunni-Shia conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Question for UPSC Mains:
What are the reasons of strife between Saudi Arabia and Iran? Do you think that Iran-Saudi Arabia strife may have substantial ramifications for India. Discuss.

Published: March 2, 2016 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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