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Big ideas of 2014: The new cold war—Iran and Saudi Arabia divide the Middle East

US negotiations are stirring up tensions between two clusters of allies

By Bronwen Maddox   January 2014
The new cold war

The new cold war

“The new cold war”: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (left) and Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah (right)

© Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images, © photo by Salah Malkawi/Getty Images

Nearly three years after the Arab Spring, the Middle East is divided along a new faultline—Iran on one side, Saudi Arabia on the other. Would-be allies are clustering around each one. The division is likely to become starker in the course of 2014. “The United Arab Emirates and Jordan are very close to Saudi Arabia at the…

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