Against the backdrop of the general tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and especially the war in Yemen, Saudi media has been replete with anti-Iranian propaganda. Many articles accused Iran of striving to destabilize and destroy the region through terrorism and violence, and cartoons depicting Iran as malicious and even demonic were published on a daily basis.
The recent bombings in two Shi’ite mosques in eastern Saudi Arabia served the Saudi media as another opportunity for a harsh attack on Iran and its policy. Alongside articles that condemned the bombings and stressed the need for unity among Sunnis and Shi’ites in the kingdom, many other articles were published that held Iran responsible for the attacks, while ignoring the problem of extremism and anti-Shi’ite incitement in Saudi Arabia itself. Some editorials and op-eds described the attacks as an Iranian response to the failure of Iran’s plan to take over Yemen by means of the Houthis and to destabilize and take over other countries in the region. Iran, they said, is behind ISIS and other Sunni terrorist organizations, and uses them to target the Gulf countries – especially Saudi Arabia, in order to distract it from the war against the Houthis in Yemen. Many Saudi cartoons likewise depicted Iran as a sponsor of violence and terrorism.
The following are excerpts from some of the articles, and a sampling of the cartoons. Continue reading