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Reuters reports that Iranian Prez Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is making his first official visit to longtime regional rival, and staunch American ally, Saudi Arabia.

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The implications of this seem to be minimal, both are important oil producing states, and both are regional powers. What is most interesting about this is Iran’s not so subtle attempt to play the role of the conciliatory hegemonic power. It’s no secret that the Sunni dominated Saudi government has serious suspicions about the Shia dominated Iran. A theocratic republic squaring off against an autocratic monarchy is enough to make any poli-sci student wet himself, but Iran’s very public attempts at acquiring nuclear technology make this visit weigh a bit more heavily on his majesty’s shoulders.

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