SOAS University of London

London Middle East Institute

Cold War in the Islamic World: Saudi Arabia, Iran and the Struggle for Supremacy

Cold War in the Islamic World
Dilip Hiro, author

Date: 4 December 2018Time: 5:45 PM

Finishes: 4 December 2018Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: Khalili Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Lecture

Lecture by Dilip Hiro to mark the publication of his book Cold War in the Islamic World: Saudi Arabia, Iran and the Struggle for Supremacy (Hurst, 2018).

For four decades Saudi Arabia and Iran have vied for influence in the Muslim world. At the heart of this ongoing Cold War between Riyadh and Tehran lie the Sunni–Shia divide, and the two countries’ intertwined histories. Saudis see this as a conflict between Sunni and Shia; Iran’s ruling clerics view it as one between their own Islamic Republic and an illegitimate monarchy.

This foundational schism has played out in a geopolitical competition for dominance in the region: Iran has expanded its influence in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, while Saudi Arabia’s hyperactive crown prince, Muhammad bin Salman, has intervened in Yemen, isolated Qatar and destabilised Lebanon. 

Dilip Hiro examines the toxic rivalry between the two countries, tracing its roots and asking whether this Islamic Cold War is likely to end any time soon.

Dilip Hiro is the author of more than thirty books, including After Empire: The Birth of a Multipolar World; Inside Central Asia; and Apocalyptic Realm: Jihadists in South Asia.

Mohammed bin Salman never was a reformer. This has proved it The disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi reveals the true nature of the Saudi crown prince, says author Dilip Hiro (Published: Guardian, 18 Oct 2018). For the podcast of an interview with Dilip Hiro on Cold War in the Islamic World visit New Books Network.

Chair: Hassan Hakimian, LMEI

Admission Free - All Welcome

Organiser: London Middle East Institute

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