First, it will help to go back and look at the pillars of the Iranian Regime’s foreign policy when the mullahs first came to power in 1979, which were:
• opposition to the West, especially the US
• anti-Semitism, particularly aimed at Israel
• asymmetrical warfare, which was achieved by funding, training and arming terrorist groups and militias to act as proxies for the Regime
Since then, undermining the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has become another pillar and it’s easy to see why. After all, the West supports Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia is not attacking Israel, and many of the Regime’s proxies are fighting Saudi Arabia in various conflicts across the Middle East, most notably in Yemen.
In the Yemeni civil war, Iran backs the Houthis rebels through its Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its elite branch, the Quds Force, providing the rebels with weapons, money, and training to defeat the Saudi-led Arab alliance. This includes providing the Houthis with the ballistic missiles fired at Saudi Arabia, which broke two UN resolutions.
Meanwhile, in Iranian state-owned media outlets or social media accounts, both English-language and Arabic, anti-Saudi propaganda is rife. This is not just coming from the so-called hardliners, but from the so-called reformers as well, highlighting that there is really no difference between the two camps; something the Iranian people have been telling us for a long time.
Dr Majid Rafizadeh wrote: “When a military parade was attacked in the Iranian city of Ahvaz at the end of September, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei immediately and absurdly blamed Saudi Arabia and the UAE without providing a shred of evidence. Yet evidence of the Iranian regime using its proxies to attack Saudi Arabia has been documented by credible international organizations, including the UN.”
It is doubtful that those in the Arab world will be duped, as Iran lost whatever credibility it may have had thanks to its role in many of the major conflicts plaguing the region, including Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, and Iraq.
We can see that Iran’s antagonism is directly linked to its dream of export its regime across the Middle East and the Muslim world. Saudi Arabia is refusing to back down and allow Iran to create a Shiite Crescent across the region, so Iran sees it as its main rival.