sunni vs. shia

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Iran vs. Saudi Arabia: From "twin pillars" of Islam to proxy wars

Join us for this featured foreign policy discussion of the month!

As these two competing powers continue to rival one another for political and religious dominance, we'll examine the root causes of this bitter rivalry -- some of which date back to the Seventh Century A.D.

The timing of this discussion is ripe because this year marks the 40th anniversary of the start of Iran's Islamic Revolution. Many experts trace back to this period as the start of the "modern" rivalry, thereby setting the stage for the modern conflicts and proxy wars.


For this meeting, we’ll explore and discuss the following topics:

- The historical tensions and the dividing line in the Islamic World, tracing back to as early as circa 600 A.D.

- The competing visions to dominate the region -- including the willingness to tolerate, and even propagate sectarian violence based on religious justifications.

- The use of proxies and client states to propagate each side's dominance. We'll also examine the Iraq-Iran Wars, the Gulf Wars 1.0 and 2.0, the 1982 Lebanon War, and the modern conflict in Yemen.

- The thorny relations with the U.S. and the Western Powers. Also, how the recent cabinet change in the Trump Administration (e.g., appointments of Pompeo and Bolton) may drastically change the U.S.-Iran relations.