U.S. Foreign Policy towards Saudi Arabia How the Islamic Revolution has changed U.S.- Saudi Arabian relations.
This thesis examines the political relationship between the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, whose ‘special friendship’ has arguably been crucial in the shaping of the cultural and political landscape of the Middle East. We will look into how the increasingly strained relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia has continued to develop until the present day by arguing that this may be due to notions of global and regional exceptionalism on the parts of Washington and Riyadh respectively. This thesis serves as a guide that examines how U.S.-Saudi political relations changed after the Islamic revolution in Iran by comparing the state of U.S.-Saudi relations before and after 1979. Ultimately, this comparison will lead to a conclusion that explains to what extent the relationship between the two states has been altered. Such a comparison may also provide explanations for the underlying reasons for the continuance of the lasting relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia despite it being such a strained relationship, mainly due to the Arab-Israeli conflict and shifting national interests as a result of changes in rulers.
Faculteit der Letteren