Iran vs Saudi Arabia: The Economic and Military War in the Middle East?

Diving deep into the Iran Vs Saudi Arabia economic, military and growth potential aspects brings out a number of differences between the two regional rivals of the Middle East. When talking about Iran Vs Saudi Arabia growth influencers, one cannot overlook the disputes in the Middle East that both nations are involved in. Iran Vs Saudi Arabia also encompasses the nations being at opposite ends of the global trade for oil. EurAsian Times analyses the AlJazeera Report.

Iran Vs Saudi Arabia: Spending Power on Military

Over the past 5 years, regions in the Middle East have been a part of military disputes, whether directly or indirectly. Statistics show that over 30% of the weapons that have been documented can be traced back to this region. Looking at the Iran Vs Saudi Arabia military spending figures state that SAs spending stands at around $56 billion as compared to only $7 billion spending by Iran.  The US continues to be the major supplier of military equipment in the Gulf region. Saudi Arabia, however, receives almost 50% of its military exports from the UK and the other major supply from the US.

Iran Vs Saudi Arabia: Economy

The 2016-17 the economy of Iran rose by approximately 7.5%, the IMF assesses this growth as a result of oil production expansion. The non-oil sector in Iran contributes to less than a percent. Observers say that a weak financial system is the main cause for a weak economy in Iran. Iran’s economy is entirely dependent on natural resources; however, the rise did not lead to a rise in employment opportunities.

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As for Saudi Arabia, the economy showed a downward or a negative growth, even after failed attempts at diversifying the economy and the reducing oil dependency. Almost 22% of the world’s reserves of oil are in this region and attempts to raise global oil prices have been made, the non-oil sectors are failing and weak. The country is trying to stop its complete reliance on oil and shift to other economic strong points.

Iran Vs Saudi Arabia: Oil Production

Saudi Arabia continues to be the largest petroleum exporter, and the gas and oil sector still remains the largest contributor to the GDP of Saudi. Additionally, Saudi is also a large exporter of iron ore, gold, natural gas and copper. While Saudi domestically consumes around 3 million barrels of oil everyday, it produces around 10 million barrels every day, The OPEC members and Saudi Arabia were forced to reduce oil prices to control the global surge in oil prices. This was mainly because of the surplus in oil production by the US.

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Looking at Iran, oil still remains responsible for almost eighty percent of the exports, even though Iran is trying to adopt a diversified approach. Out of the 4 million barrels of oil the country produces, it uses about 1.8 for its domestic consumption. Since 2015, foreign investments have come back to Iran following the lift of sanctions from the nuclear deal, with Iran agreeing to stop its nuclear programme. While looking at Iran Vs Saudi Arabia, it is also important to note that the two nations together own the world’s largest natural gas field.