Saudi Arabian Council of Ministers
Directed by Zoe Connell and Chris Pickens
The New Cold War
The main theme of this committee will be proxy conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which can be traced back to the Iranian Revolution, when Iran undermined Saudi Arabia’s image as the leader of the Muslim world. Dubbed the “New Cold War,” this rivalry between the US backed Saudi Arabia and the Russian backed Iran has been waged on multiple levels over geopolitical, economic, and sectarian influence in pursuit of regional hegemony. The result has been various proxy wars throughout the region such as the ones in Syria and Yemen.
Beginning in 2011, the ongoing civil war in Syria has continued to be a hotly contested topic, with much attention being drawn to the power dynamic between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Syria is an important part of Iran’s sphere of influence and has been a major ally, leading to Iranian and even Russian support of the Syrian government and aid in targeting rebel groups. In response, Saudi Arabia has chosen to support the rebels in hopes of weakening Iran.
Unlike Syria, which has garnered much attention from the media in the US, the situation in Yemen has flown relatively under the radar; the power struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran, however, remains the same. Yemen was an important part of Saudi Arabia’s sphere of influence, but a Houthi insurgency, supported by Iran, has led to full scale war as the coup was seen as an immediate threat to Saudi Arabia.