Middle East Conflict : Shia vs. Sunni ?

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Sachin Mehta, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


Tension between the Iran and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East has gradually boiled down into the tussle for being the dominant nation in the Middle East. The kingdom of Saudi Arabia is ruled by the Sunni Monarchy known as the House of Saud with 90% of the people belonging to Sunni community while Iran consists of majority of population belonging to Shia community. The fact that two nations represent the two rival communities of Islam has created a divide between the two nations over the years.

The conflict between the two communities of Islam could be traced back from Iranian revolution in 1979 and has been building over for quite a sometime. Shia-Sunni Conflict has spread to other parts of the world including Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Yemen. The civil war in Yemen has become a sectarian proxy war, with Iran backing Shia Houthi rebels who overthrew the country’s dominated Sunni government, while Saudi Arabia led coalition has since intervened to reinstall the Sunni leadership.

The entire Middle-east starting from Gulf state of Saudi Arabia to Iran is in crisis. The relations between the two countries which were already tensed have exacerbated. The execution of Shia cleric and scholar Nimr Al-Nimr along with 46 other people on charges of terrorism by Saudi Arabia on 2nd January has created a major divide. The divide which is taking the form of Shia’s vs. Sunni’s is being seen as a matter of great concern in the entire region. This conflict within the two nations has seen other countries in the region getting involved too. Meanwhile the more serious problem of ISIS and the fight against it; it is felt that it is getting affected by this conflict.

The fact remains that dangerous situation is developing in the Middle-East and how it is going to be resolved which nobody seems to have an idea.


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