Under King Salman, Saudi Arabia is expanding its confrontation with Iran well beyond the Middle East, no longer relying heavily on Western allies to smother Tehran’s ambitions outside the Arab world.
Since Salman came to power early last year, and Tehran struck a nuclear deal with world powers, Riyadh has adjusted its strategy for countering the efforts of its Shi’ite Muslim rival to build influence in Africa, Asia and even Latin America.
Most notably, the Sunni power has used Muslim networks to push states into cutting off contacts with Iran, including by creating an Islamic Coalition against terrorism without inviting Tehran to join.
“Iran is the one that isolated itself by supporting terrorism,” Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told a recent news conference. “That is why the world reacted to Iran, and particularly the Islamic world, and basically said ‘enough is enough’.”
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