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Tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia spiked earlier this month, with protesters storming the Saudi Embassy in Tehran after the execution of a Shiite shiekh in the kingdom.Nonetheless, Saudi Arabia and Iran established diplomatic relations.In the late 1970s, however, a sectarian battle of identities flared up. It perceived a direct threat after 1979, when Iran's Islamic Revolution toppled the shah and the new regime declared itself to be the leader of Shiites worldwide. In response to Iran's call for the liberation of all Shiites, Saudi Arabia redoubled its efforts to spread Wahhabism, intensifying the struggle between the two powers.Both Iran and Saudi Arabia are currently undergoing important political and economic transitions that could leave their regimes vulnerable.
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