The Middle East's cold war, explained

A thumbnail background on the significance of Saudi Arabia and Iran, the main players in the middle-east.

"The Saudis and Iranians have never actually declared war on each other. Instead, they fight indirectly by supporting opposing sides in other countries and inciting conflicts. This is known as proxy warfare. And it’s had a devastating effect on the region. Countries, especially poor ones, can’t function if there are larger countries pulling strings within their borders. And that’s exactly what's happening in the Middle East.

The Saudi-Iranian rivalry has become a fight over influence, and the whole region is a battlefield." ~ Vox