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Cold War in the Islamic World

Saudi Arabia, Iran and the Struggle for Supremacy

Dilip Hiro

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C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd
01 July 2020
History; Middle Eastern history; Geopolitics
For four decades Saudi Arabia and Iran have vied for influence in the Muslim world. At the heart of this ongoing Cold War between Riyadh and Tehran lie the Sunni-Shia divide, and the two countries' intertwined histories. Saudis see this as a conflict between Sunni and Shia; Iran's ruling clerics view it as one between their own Islamic Republic and an illegitimate monarchy.

This foundational schism has played out in a geopolitical competition for dominance in the region: Iran has expanded its influence in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, while Saudi Arabia's hyperactive crown prince, Muhammad bin Salman, has intervened in Yemen, isolated Qatar and destabilised Lebanon.

Dilip Hiro examines the toxic rivalry between the two countries, tracing its roots and asking whether this Islamic Cold War is likely to end any time soon.
By:   Dilip Hiro
Imprint:   C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 215mm,  Width: 138mm, 
ISBN:   9781787384088
ISBN 10:   178738408X
Pages:   504
Publication Date:   01 July 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Dilip Hiro is a full-time writer, journalist, and commentator. He was the chief analyst for the Rome-based Inter Press Service Agency (1992-99), and later for Gemini News (1999-2002). He is also a frequent contributor to The Guardian's Comment is Free and Yale Global. Among his more than two dozen books is the acclaimed Iran Under the Ayatollahs (1985). His Secrets and Lies: Operation 'Iraqi Freedom' and After was chosen as the Financial Times' Best Politics and Religion Book of the Year and long-listed for the Orwell Prize.

Reviews for Cold War in the Islamic World: Saudi Arabia, Iran and the Struggle for Supremacy

'The contemporary great game playing out bloodily between oil-fired theocracies in Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran is the subject of Dilip Hiro's latest book. He tells the story with relish.' 'The book has a racy pace and is rich in reportage . . . Hiro marshals an enormous amount of fact and anecdote as he recounts the manner in which regional and global events unfold . . . a rich tapestry.' 'Hiro is a wonderful raconteur . . . few have told the story of tensions between Riyadh and Tehran quite as well as him.' 'One comes away from Dilip Hiro's new book Cold War in the Islamic World with a heightened appreciation for the complexities of politics in the Islamic world. It is a world where geopolitics and religion intersect in a struggle for power and survival among Islamic regimes.' 'Dilip Hiro is one of the most prolific scholars of the Middle East, and there is little that escapes his notice. In this volume, he takes an in-depth look at the new cold war that is brewing in the region . . . a welcome addition to the literature.' 'Eminent historian and prolific author Hiro . . . focuses on a pertinent crucible of roiling tension in the region . . . an important study for understanding the roots of current tensions [between Saudi Arabia and Iran].' 'Hiro provides the reader with a perspective rarely found in most texts regarding the Middle East . . . [a] nuanced portrayal of the complex history of these nations, their relationship and its consequences for the region and the world at large.' 'Hiro treats the subject deeply and thoroughly.' 'Iran and Saudi Arabia anchor the sweeping text, which ranges from Pakistan to Egypt and detours as far back as the seventh-century Sunni-Shi'a divide. [Hiro's] mix of lively writing and serious detail should draw in readers ... with any interest in the subject.' -- Choice 'A suitable introduction to the Iranian-Saudi relations for someone wanting to go beyond the headlines ... Trying to capture the vast sweep of this relationship in a single text is a monumental task ... To Hiro's credit, his account is fairly balanced. The research is also impressive in its breadth.' -- Middle East Journal '[A] monumental study.' 'The book, based on Hiro's years of research and travels as a journalist, is terse in reporting historical details with disciplined focus on motivations. It is an easier read for those who closely follow news from the Middle East though scholars are sure to appreciate his thoughtful juxtaposition of events that underscore patterns.' 'An excellent book . . . extremely engaging and accessible.' 'Ambitious, impressive, original, and important.'


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