نوع مقاله : مقاله پژوهشی
استادیار روابط بین الملل دانشگاه علامه طباطبائی
عنوان مقاله [English]
Tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia relations has reached its pinnacles. Some foreign policy wonks assume ideological factors as the main cause of the hostilities and some others believe that the main reason is the geopolitical one. A crucial factor that usually has been ignored, is perceptions and misperceptions of the elites regarding each other and the impact of the factor on the exacerbating of the tensions between two neighboring countries. The current paper seeks to address the issue and explore the impacts of the perceptions of Iran’s military and political elites on Tehran’s relations with Riyadh. To provide a sound answer to the question, the qualitative content analysis has been employed as a research methodology. The theoretical framework has been adopted form theories of some pioneer scholars in this field, such as Robert Jervis, Jack Levy and Arthur Stein. The findings of the study demonstrated that the perceptions of Iranian elites have contributed to the deterioration of tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia in 3 main ways: 1) perceptions about Saudi Arabia’s capabilities: overestimating Iran’s capabilities; 2) Perceptions about the intentions of the Riyadh: Exaggerating its animosity, and; 3) Perceptions on the intentions and reactions of third parties during a potential conflict: indecisiveness on the reactions of the U.S., Arab world, Israel and NATO. Some measures have been recommended in order to ease the dialogue between the parties and evade some destructive consequences of these (mis)perceptions.