Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science

First Advisor's Name

Mohiaddin Mesbahi

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Ralph Clem

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Eric Lob

Third Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Harry Gould

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Fifth Advisor's Name

Naisy Sarduy

Fifth Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Sixth Advisor's Name

Benjamin Smith

Sixth Advisor's Committee Title

committee member


Iran, Saudi Arabia, Security, Foreign Policy

Date of Defense



This dissertation is an exploration of the dynamics of Iranian-Saudi relations from the earliest days of their encounter in the 1920s through 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. This is a period in the relations of the two states that has rarely been the subject of intellectual inquiry in the existing literature. This present research provides an analytical historiography of Iranian-Saudi relations with an aim to examine the elements constituting the dynamics of their relations. This is attained by contextualizing the milestones of Iranian-Saudi relations, triangulating historical accounts to identify the narrative among alternatives that best fits the meaningful causal processes explaining continuity and change, and weighing the impacts of factors playing a role in any given period of the Iranian-Saudi relations.





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