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Iran, Saudi Arabia find common ground in Yemen

Despite fears of increasing Riyadh-Tehran rivalry, Yemen's unity government serves the interests of both Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Saudi soldiers stand guard in Jizan on the border with Yemen November 3, 2014. Gains by the Shi'ite Houthi rebel movement in Yemen are ringing alarm bells in Saudi Arabia, concerned for what it means for its vulnerable southern border, already the conduit for a constant flow of illicit activity. Picture taken November 3, 2014.  REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser (SAUDI ARABIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTR4DNW9
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The general consensus among Western observers is that Iran is at best a minor foreign participant in the internal Yemeni struggle for power. On the other hand, Iran’s Arab rivals in the region, principally Saudi Arabia, see Tehran as both an instigator and a key driver behind Yemen’s domestic political turmoil. The reality seems to lie somewhere between the two viewpoints. Still, though it is hard to ignore Tehran’s newfound interest in Yemen, it does not necessarily have to result in a showdown with Riyadh.

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