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The Saudi Factor in Pakistan-Iran Relations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-37
JournalIranian Review of Foreign Affairs
Issue number4
Early online date21 Jul 2014
Accepted/In press20 Feb 2014
E-pub ahead of print21 Jul 2014

King's Authors


National interest often forms the core of bilateral ties between states. No matter how much idealism is peddled to explain the unassailability of the State’s bilateral relations, the national interests and related diplomatic preferences spawn abrasion in these ties. The change of leadership is a consequence of elections results in a national reassessment of foreign policy. This paper attempts to highlight Pakistan’s foreign policy dilemma regarding the walking of a tightrope between Tehran and Riyadh. It is argued that the balancing act of Islamabad in this triad is further complicated in the aftermath of 2013 general elections in Pakistan. The new Nawaz Sharif administration’s unveiled connection with the Saudi Kingdom, the current tides in the Saudi-Iran-U.S. triangle, and the impending and complex drawdown of international forces from Afghanistan further confounds the trajectory of Pakistan’s foreign policy, especially in the zero sum dynamics of Saudi-Iran rivalry.

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