Iran–Saudi Arabia proxy conflict  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Iran–Saudi Arabia proxy conflict (sometimes referred to as the Iran–Saudi Arabia Cold War or the Middle East Cold War) is the ongoing struggle for influence in the Middle East and surrounding regions between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The proxy conflict can be traced back to the Iranian Revolution in 1979, when the monarchic Imperial State of Iran became an Islamic republic. The revolutionaries called specifically for the ousting of monarchies and secular regimes to be replaced with Islamic republics, much to the alarm of its smaller Sunni-run Arab neighbors Saudi Arabia, Ba'athist Iraq, Kuwait, and the other Persian Gulf states, most of whom were monarchies and all of whom had sizable Shia populations. Islamist insurgents rose in Saudi Arabia in 1979, Egypt and Bahrain in 1981, Syria in 1982, and Lebanon in 1983.

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