The fact is, Saudi Arabia is at a disadvantage when it comes to a military showdown with Iran.The fact is, Saudi Arabia is at a disadvantage when it comes to a military showdown with Iran. Its grip over the Sunni world is more contested than Iran’s championing of the Shiite world — numerous Sunni groups, including the so-called Islamic State, openly oppose Saudi Arabia and challenge its leadership of the Sunni faith. Iran, on the other hand, does not have to deal with anything similar; it also has the direct support of Russia, especially in Syria, while U.S.-Saudi relations seem to have cooled.
Reports of Saudi Arabia’s demise, however, have been greatly exaggerated.Reports of Saudi Arabia’s demise, however, have been greatly exaggerated. Despite its high reliance on oil, the kingdom still has a relatively cozy financial cushion and several options that it can employ to get its budget in order. And, more relevant to the conflict in question, Saudi Arabia has far more wiggle room here than Iran.