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The Middle East’s cold war, explained

The Middle East is one of the most complex
regions in the world: Currently there are 4 failing states and 3
wars, with major powers increasingly taking opposite sides. Countless armed militias and terrorist groups
are spreading violence across borders. The region has seen conflict after conflict
going back well into the 20th century. But among all the uprisings, civil wars, and
insurgencies, two countries always seem to be involved: Saudi Arabia and Iran. They’re bitter rivals, and their feud is
the key to understanding conflicts in the Middle East. The Saudis and Iranians have never actually
declared war on each other. Instead, they fight indirectly by supporting
opposing sides in other countries and inciting conflicts. This is known as proxy warfare. And it’s had a devastating effect on the
region. Countries, especially poor ones, can’t function if there are larger countries pulling strings within their borders. Both the Saudis and the Iranians, see these civil wars as both tremendous threats, and also potentially enormous opportunities. The Saudi-Iranian rivalry has become a fight over influence, and the whole region is a battlefield. It’s why the rivalry is being called: a
Cold War. The most famous cold war was fought for 40 years between the United States and Soviet
Union. Looking forward to the day when their flag would fly over the entire world. They never declared war on each other, but clashed in proxy wars around the world. Each side supported dictators, rebel groups, and intervened in civil wars to contain the other. Like the US and Soviet Union, Saudi Arabia
and Iran are two powerful rivals – but instead of fighting for world dominance, they’re
fighting over control of the Middle East. In order to understand the Saudi-Iranian rivalry,
let’s go back to the origins of each country. In the early 1900s, the Arabian peninsula
was a patchwork of tribes under the control of the Ottoman Empire. After World War I, the empire collapsed, leaving these tribes to fight each other for power. One tribe from the interior, the al-Saud,
eventually conquered most of the peninsula. In 1932, they were recognized as the Kingdom
of Saudi Arabia. 6 years later, massive oil reserves were discovered in Saudi Arabia, and, in an instant, the Saudi monarchy was rich. That oil money built roads and cities
all around the desert country – and it helped forge an alliance with the US. On the eastern side of the Persian Gulf, another country was emerging, but having a much harder time. Iran also had massive oil reserves and an
even bigger Muslim population. But constant foreign intervention was creating chaos. Since the 18th century, Iran had been invaded
by the Russians and British twice. In 1953, the US secretly staged a coup, removing the popular prime minister, Mohammed Mosaddegh. In his place, they propped up a monarch, Reza Shah, who was aggressively reforming Iran into a secular, westernized country. But he harbored corruption and terrorized
the population with his secret police, the Savak. By the 1970s, both Saudi Arabia and Iran had oil-based economies and had governments heavily backed by the US, but the feelings among each population were very different: Ultimately at the end of the day, the
Shah of Iran, powerful as he was, simply did not have the same control over his people
or ultimately the same legitimacy and affection that the Saudi people felt towards their monarchy
at that point in time. That’s because Iran’s Muslims felt stifled
by the Shah’s reformations and by the end of the decade, they finally fought back. Iran’s Islamic revolution overthrew a powerful regime, that boasted military might. It’s really in 1979, when Ayatollah Khomeini and the Islamic revolution overthrow the Shah, that the real tension
between Saudi Arabia and Iran begins. Ayatollah Khomeini was a Muslim clergyman,
who preached against Western-backed secular monarchies. He advocated for a government that popular, Islamic, and led by the clergy. And In 1979, he led a revolution to establish just that. It was a massive international event that
prompted reactions around the world especially in Saudi Arabia. The Iranian Revolution terrified the government
of Saudi Arabia. They were fearful that Ayatollah Khomeini would inspire their populations to rise up against them, exactly the way he had caused the Iranian population to rise up against the Shah. There was a religious threat too. Up until now, the Saudis had claimed to be
the leaders of the Muslim world. Largely because Islam’s two holiest sites,
Mecca and Medina are in Saudi Arabia. But Khomeini claimed his popular revolution
made Iran the legitimate Muslim state. There was another divide; Saudi Arabia’s
population is mostly Sunni, the majority sect of Islam, while Khomeini and Iran are mostly
Shia. Westerners always make a
mistake by drawing an analogy between the Sunni-Shia split and the Protestant-Catholic
split within Christianity. The Sunni-Shia split was never as violent. And in much of the Islamic world, when Sunnis and Shia were living in close proximity, they got along famously well. So, while the Sunni-Shia split was not a reason
for the rivalry, it was an important division. After the revolution, the Saudi’s fears
came to life when Iran began “exporting its revolution”. This CIA report from 1980 details how the
Iranian started helping groups, mostly Shia, trying to overthrow governments in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia. And they prompted the Saudis to redouble their efforts, to fight against Iran. They bolstered their alliance with the US
and formed the GCC, an alliance with other gulf monarchies. The stage was set for conflict. War in the gulf. Iraq invaded Iran in seven areas. With a 5:1 superiority, Iraqi forces moved quickly The rise of Iran as a regional power threatened other neighboring countries as well. In September 1980, Iraq, under the rule of
dictator Saddam Hussein, invaded Iran. He was hoping to stop the Iranian revolution,
gain power, and annex some of Iran’s oil reserves. But they didn’t get far. The war bogged down into stalemate complete
with trench warfare, chemical weapons and heavy civilian casualties. When Iran started winning, the Saudis panicked,
and came to Iraq’s rescue. They provided money, weapons, and logistical
help. So it becomes critical to the Saudis that
they build up Iraq, and build it up into a wall that can hold back the Iranian torrent that
they have unleashed. The Saudi help allowed Iraq to fight until
1988. By then, nearly a million people had died. Iranians largely blamed the Saudis for the
war and the feud escalated. Fast forward 15 years and Iraq again became
the scene of a proxy war. In 2003 the US invaded Iraq and overthrew Saddam Hussein. Neither Saudi Arabia or Iran wanted this to
happen, since Iraq had been acting as a buffer between them. But problems arose when the US struggled to
replace Saddam. The United States has no idea what it is doing in Iraq after 2003. And it makes one mistake after another, that creates a security vacuum, and a failed state, and drives Iraq into all-out civil war. Without a government, armed militias took
control of Iraq, splintering the population. Sunni and Shia militias suddenly sprang up
all over the country. Many were radical Islamist groups who saw
an opportunity to gain power amidst the chaos. These militias were readymade proxies for
Saudi Arabia and Iran, and they both seized the opportunity to try and gain power. The Saudis started sending money and weapons
to the Sunni militias, and Iran; the Shia. Iraq was suddenly a proxy war with Saudi Arabia
and Iran supporting opposing sides. That trend continued into the Arab Spring,
a series of anti-monarchy, pro-democracy protests that swept through the Middle East in 2011. This had very different consequences for Saudi
Arabia and Iran: That is terrifying to the Saudis who are the ultimate status quo power. They want the region stable, and they don’t want anbody rising up and overthrowing a sclerotic, autocratic government, for fear that it might inspire their own people to do the same. The Iranians are the ultimate anti-status quo power, they have been trying for decades to overturn the regional order. Each country threw their weight behind different
groups, all over the Middle East. Just like in Iraq, the Saudis began supporting
Sunni groups and governments while Iran helps Shia groups rise up against them. In Tunisia, the Saudi’s backed a dictator
while the Iranians stoked protests. In Bahrain, Iran supported Shia leaders seeking
to overthrow the government. Saudi Arabia, in turn, sent troops to help
quash the unrest. Both got involved in Libya, Lebanon and Morocco As Saudi Arabia and Iran put more and more
pressure on these countries… they began to collapse. Now the feud has gone a step further, with
both countries deploying their own militaries. In Yemen, the Saudi military is on the ground
helping the central government. They are fighting the rebels, called the Houthis,
who are an Iranian proxy group. The reverse is happening in Syria. The Iranian
military is fighting side by side with militias, some of them extremists groups like Hezbollah,
in support of dictator Bashar al-Assad. They are fighting rebel Sunni groups, who
are Saudi proxies. The more civil wars that broke out in the
Middle East, the more Saudi Arabia and Iran became involved. Neither the government of Saudi Arabia nor the government of Iran are looking for a fight. But the problem is these civil wars create
circumstances that no one could have predicted. Both the Iranians and the Saudis feel that their vital national interests, are threatened, are in jeopardy, because of different things happening in these civil
wars, things they blame each other for. Now the cold war is drawing in other countries. The Saudi government is threatening Qatar, a tiny Gulf state that was developing ties with Iran. Meanwhile in Syria and Iraq, the terrorist
group, ISIS is nearing defeat and both the Saudis and Iranians are angling to take control
of that territory. It’s a Cold war that’s becoming incredibly
unpredictable. As the Middle East continues to destabilize,
its hard to say how far these countries will go.

Tony wyaad



  1. wasbirullah Abi Posted on August 25, 2019 at 10:33 am

    Peace be upon you. Lets make it clear. What benefit of this video? Hope that it will not be a key to make people bad thinking about someone or a country. Thank you

  2. Viper Gaming Posted on August 25, 2019 at 10:44 am

    Religion is a disease

  3. rafizi shahruz Posted on August 25, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    Middle East Cold War Whatapps Group

    < Youtubers added to group >

    Lets begin chat war!

    < US left group >
    < Russia left group >
    < UK removed from group >
    < israel removed from group >

  4. anil kumar Posted on August 25, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    One to notice, The US is behind every modern conflict 😀

  5. b Posted on August 25, 2019 at 5:18 pm

    Its not Al Qaeda in Yemen its Houthis

  6. I The Posted on August 25, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    Iran and Saudi Arabia need to tell the Middle East To put there guns down and fight each other on Fortnite to find the real winner

  7. Sunil Posted on August 25, 2019 at 10:20 pm

    It's not just the Saudi Iran rivalry, but also other countries in the region and the U.S. Russian rivalry making them take sides makes it impossible to solve the problems.

  8. Silber SHARK313 Posted on August 26, 2019 at 9:27 am

    Viva Iran 🇮🇷

  9. Silber SHARK313 Posted on August 26, 2019 at 9:27 am

    Viva Hezbollah

  10. Sollozzo Posted on August 26, 2019 at 9:29 am

    When the regime of Iran is changed, then everything would be good.

  11. Mehmet Ahmet Posted on August 26, 2019 at 11:51 am

    America is the big devil that destroy and stole other countries

  12. 13 bogs Posted on August 26, 2019 at 4:02 pm

    What IF Saudi Arabia and Iran be united? A new Global power?

  13. Suhani Pant Posted on August 26, 2019 at 4:53 pm

    every one crying about USA saudi wanted support from usa so usa did what saudi asked

  14. Stormrage123 Posted on August 26, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    Very informative thank you sir.

  15. GreekLegend GreekLegend Posted on August 27, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    Lybia ain't in the middle east

  16. Adidonu joy Sautudina Posted on August 29, 2019 at 3:59 am

    Vox you didnt mention Lawrence of Arabia?

  17. Dan Dombrowski Posted on August 29, 2019 at 4:42 am

    sooooooo much omitted

  18. n7eet Posted on August 29, 2019 at 5:16 am

    Who researched this ? Al saud is a family not a tribe… Also al saud trace their history almost 400 years by Mohammed bin Saud and Mohammed bin abdolwahab in their idea of unifying the tribes of Arabia post the fall of the Abbasid empired. They succeeded in creating the 1st Saudi state that lasted 80 years and destroyed by the ottomans and then the 2nd Saudi state 20 years later and lasted 60 years and also destroyed by the ottomanan through Egypt…. Hence why they had massive support from the local tribes to this day…

  19. Fox's Down ÝŢ Posted on August 29, 2019 at 10:46 am

    The problem is because of the American and Israeli agents who were planted by the US in Iraq and the American wants to control Iraq. The American client is a friend and he sits with us because we do not want to see and the client has become our friend.😂

  20. mobin hemmati Posted on August 29, 2019 at 10:14 pm

    Like : iran

    Comment : saudi arabia

  21. charles dawson Posted on August 30, 2019 at 6:54 pm

    (0:07) Libya doesn't count.

  22. charles dawson Posted on August 30, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    (7:42) I'm pretty sure the Arab Spring is just a anti-democratic revolt, luckily it failed to overthrow the governments.

  23. charles dawson Posted on August 30, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    (10:04) As son as they declare war, The UN would intervene and prevent a escalation.

  24. 420x christian Posted on August 31, 2019 at 1:24 am

    I know it’s not all accurate on the information but absolutely love how he explained and detailed it was

  25. Águila701 Posted on August 31, 2019 at 8:09 am

    Invite the Saudis and Iranians to a barbecue.

  26. StOrM_ _iQ Posted on August 31, 2019 at 9:26 am

    I am from iraq 💔

  27. Sevdail Sulejmani Posted on August 31, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    Shias have NOTHING to do with ISLAM!!!!!!!

  28. Artic Zerr0w Posted on August 31, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    We all know the us joined just cause of the ⛽️

  29. alicia alicia Posted on September 1, 2019 at 1:17 am

    Israel is the cancer on the middle east

  30. خالد البلوي Posted on September 1, 2019 at 6:15 pm


  31. Davud Danovic Posted on September 1, 2019 at 10:18 pm

    You've said that difference betwwen sunni and shia has never been violent. After Muhammed s.a.w.a. death, the war between them "never" stopped.

  32. Jake April Posted on September 2, 2019 at 2:32 am

    The us give the fuel to all wars around the world, they do it alot in the middle east because of the ancient artifacts that they dont want us to know about it they are destroying everything,ask your self did we really discovered all the technology that we had today? I think we already had all the technology in the past and even more.

  33. Shatha Obied Posted on September 2, 2019 at 9:52 am

    you really slept on Israel and the US

  34. Furious Rivera Posted on September 2, 2019 at 10:00 am

    This is still Russia vs America

  35. Gerard Dunne Posted on September 2, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    Good video but many historians are saying you missed out stuff so I'm more confused

  36. 마언 Posted on September 3, 2019 at 10:28 pm

    Saudi and Iran are just playing 3D chess when USA and Russia are playing 6D chess, by drinking oil from them

  37. Roi Biton Posted on September 4, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    this video is very bad

  38. Shane K Posted on September 4, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    Omitting details makes this video painstakingly inaccurate

  39. techZoNe Posted on September 4, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    Nepal India war 😈😈 coming soon

  40. Artin Goodarzi Posted on September 4, 2019 at 6:09 pm

    Why did you put iran as red and the Saudis as green, shouldn't it be the other way round

  41. Keaton Hussey Posted on September 5, 2019 at 3:13 am

    So who’s the good guy in this?

  42. spencer b Posted on September 5, 2019 at 11:28 am

    Nothing like a member of the CIA to add legitimacy to the informative video……….

  43. Heatcliffxs Posted on September 5, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    us makes thinks worse

  44. Heatcliffxs Posted on September 5, 2019 at 12:59 pm

    vox is us supporter and propoganda channel

  45. Haji Hussein Posted on September 5, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    Iraq is always the victim

  46. Avina Films Posted on September 5, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    May God be with them all.

  47. HxN Posted on September 6, 2019 at 2:28 am

    Just an add up since the info at 09:50 is a bit outdated now. Qatar was/is getting weapons and money from Iran and they are supplying a terrorist group in Yemen that wants to take over Yemen and then invade Saudi Arabia, The situation so far is in Saudi Arabia's favor since they are not invading Yemen, but only defending its borders from Yemeni civilians and the people of the terrorism group.

  48. Red Bull Posted on September 6, 2019 at 4:15 am

    Eye for an eye through my people as Allah demands unless they forgive so u might as well wait if ur in that position. I will execute the saudi emirati coalition later Insha Allah

  49. Anurak Chhettry Posted on September 6, 2019 at 8:16 am

    Please help my people who’re locked down illegally curfewed in Kashmir by indian govt for no reason , no food , no internet, water , groceries, medicines please help us save us from this modern evil hiltler called modi .

  50. Monower Sadaf Posted on September 6, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    USA and Israel has left the chat.

  51. S Hashmi Posted on September 7, 2019 at 10:15 am

    Your video is incomplete . It was america who supported and funded Saddam Hussain during Gulf war …. This guy is presenting video by favouring US … Not a single word about US … He doesn't want the world to know about US .. this is how western media lies ……

  52. Mohammed Onais Posted on September 7, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    I live in saudi arabia

  53. E ms Posted on September 7, 2019 at 8:18 pm

    Turkey joined server.

  54. John Kasier Posted on September 7, 2019 at 10:31 pm

    correction : The Saudi military isn't in the ground its Yemeni military and the southern resistant military supported by UAE 8:50

  55. Jawad Posted on September 8, 2019 at 3:47 am

    كله من امريكا و إسرائيل الشيطان الأكبر

  56. AstrobumTV Posted on September 8, 2019 at 8:45 am

    Iran on Russia's side. Saudi's on USA's side. Whose Cold war is it again?

  57. Francis Mausley Posted on September 9, 2019 at 5:28 am

    So complex & dangerous. “No two men can be found who may be said to be outwardly and inwardly united. The evidences of discord and malice are apparent everywhere, though all were made for harmony and union.” ~ Baha'i Faith

  58. Mohamd Azize Posted on September 9, 2019 at 6:54 am

    Please create a video to present circumstances this video is about 3 years ago

  59. allah son Posted on September 9, 2019 at 10:10 am

    Boom the computersss

  60. Davi M. Kim Posted on September 9, 2019 at 1:09 pm

    IF the Rascals Iran and North Coreia has a nuclear Weapom, any country should have 👀 then everybody is going to do a "Happy Proxywar" ⚠️

  61. Engine Vince Posted on September 9, 2019 at 6:11 pm

    If the Iranian revolution never happend, there wouldn't be a crisis in Middle East.

  62. Shaheer Ahmad Khan Posted on September 10, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    you forgot key figure Isreal who plays as Victim while making victims

  63. Im too lazy Posted on September 10, 2019 at 7:31 pm

    I live in Lebanon im lebanese, i studied politics, and there is ALOT of wrong details.

  64. william walsh Posted on September 11, 2019 at 2:29 am

    I didnt see any of this in modern warfare 2

  65. crazy maniac Posted on September 11, 2019 at 3:51 am

    Islam love wars and terrorism?

  66. Boy Posted on September 11, 2019 at 10:59 am

    Started feeling the truth all around the world. The war is on humanity to get the power.

  67. al3dwani666 Posted on September 11, 2019 at 11:14 am

    Saudia arabia never wanted to take over the Middle East like you said … But they defending against Iran who want to over control the Middle East .
    That’s it
    anyone live in Middle East know this fact.
    Anyone agree with me give a like 👍🏻

  68. steely wheeley automobiley Posted on September 11, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    Is this guy seriously saying shias and sunnis are not as violent as the Catholic and Protestants? Well I'll just say this, right now there are families and people on Pakistan who's names are on hitlists and they get killed weekly something similar happens in Lebanon everyday where Shia and sunn neighbours snipe each other's from their houses!

  69. Sha Znd Posted on September 11, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    These two countries are not comparable. nor racial nor cultural neither historical. S.Arabia founded in 1932, Iran introduced the concept of a political unit we known as a country in 500 bc.

  70. Куба Кг Posted on September 11, 2019 at 5:59 pm

    Silah tuccarlari icin en elverisli durum

  71. Edward Stephen Drood Posted on September 12, 2019 at 5:37 am

    USA is the biggest threat like Rome was once… It will destroy itself eventually…karma hits back

  72. Douglas MacArthur Posted on September 12, 2019 at 6:03 am

    Turkey is sitting and watching the wars 😀

  73. altaf khan Posted on September 12, 2019 at 8:33 am

    Behind the curtains evil America is doing all this And there CIA and there is no Sunni and Shia we all are humans being

  74. eisaplays Posted on September 12, 2019 at 9:25 am

    At least the American guy admits the us’s mistakes

  75. Dana Basballe Posted on September 12, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    Conflict goes back to the origins of Islam, check out the battle of Karbala.

  76. Sanjula Jayakody Posted on September 12, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    I love ice cream whether I go to Saudi Arabia or Iran. If you like ice cream like my comment.

  77. Saleh 313 Posted on September 12, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    Did anyone noticed only Sunni are terrorists !

  78. felipe35475 Posted on September 12, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    Didnt explained US suport for Israel and 9/11 motives. Lame.

  79. Action for Yemen Posted on September 12, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    Please check out @actionforyemen on Instagram, Twitter and fb. The ActionforYemen project is a grassroots movement to encourage people to give money to the UN Humanitarian Fund for Yemen at Christmas and birthdays. This is in lieu of a physical gift and a way to honor a loved one by empowering those in need.

  80. XxpauldadudexX Posted on September 13, 2019 at 12:53 am

    Saudi Arabia and Iran, both ruled by primitive, hateful, inhumane, superstitious, old men in beards n dresses. NO FREEDOM OF RELIGION, HAVING NO RELIGION, OR ANY PROGRESSIVE THINKING. Fear, intolerance, and terror is never far away.
    God or no god help these ppl ruled by fundamentalist, tyrannical, dictators when oil runs out…then the dark ages will be just around the corner.

  81. Queen Tara Posted on September 13, 2019 at 1:25 am

    How come you didn’t mention the Kurdish People? The Kurds suffered the most from this cold war.

  82. Portland Bubba Posted on September 13, 2019 at 4:17 am

    Too simple an explanation and not well thought out.

  83. Pedro Henrique Linares Gil Posted on September 13, 2019 at 6:18 am

    You can include the Brazil in the roll of the countries that were the USA plotted a coup of state, which creates the 1964 ditactorship here in Brazil

  84. flameout12345 Posted on September 13, 2019 at 7:38 am

    How we miss Saddam Hussein

  85. Keaikitse Modise Posted on September 13, 2019 at 7:50 am

    Gaddafi said 80% of the gulf are the Iranians & the wealth is contrlled by 1% of the familly

  86. Mr. Tey Posted on September 13, 2019 at 9:48 am

    Its a strange world we are living in… Iran and the U.S are more suited to be partners rather than with Saudi

  87. SayanSTR CE Posted on September 13, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    Vox it is 😏

  88. محمد التميمي Mohamed al_tamimi Posted on September 13, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    I'm shia in Basra from iraq hate iran and love Saudi Arabia

  89. DangerousDavies2008 Posted on September 13, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    What about Israels role in this chess game?

  90. Ghalya kd Posted on September 13, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    خرا عالسياسة والسياسيين والمصالح وعالاعلام المصلحجي. احتارو كيف بدهم يفجرو الكوكب
    ودمتم سالمين ☺💔

  91. Mankar Camoran Posted on September 13, 2019 at 7:20 pm

    Worst explanation ever, so many important details were just ignored, shame on you

  92. Our Stuff Posted on September 14, 2019 at 3:59 am

    Pakistanis must see.and.make.peace. with India elss they are just on the edge

  93. Anonymous desu Posted on September 14, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    capitalism vs anti-capitalism

  94. hashem shibani Posted on September 14, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    Saddam hussian is not dictator
    Bush is the real dictator

  95. hashem shibani Posted on September 14, 2019 at 1:17 pm

    Do not believe any American. False report

  96. SuperStriker7US Team Name:The Last Bosses Posted on September 14, 2019 at 7:59 pm

    Fun Fact: Americans discovered oil in Saudi Arabia in 1938. Not the Saudis.

  97. Joe Flanagan Posted on September 14, 2019 at 8:06 pm

    This video is a comedy.

    America/Isis/NATO the evillest terrorist group this planet ever witnessed. History cannot be erased even if these fools control the media.
    Al-Assad in Syria is a pure gentleman.