The Monitor's View A Mideast rivalry worth watching

Iran and Saudi Arabia now have reformist leaders bent on granting certain liberties that appeal to young people. That sort of contest of ideas is far better than their violent rivalry in regional conflicts.

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At the heart of many Middle East conflicts lies a fierce rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The two compete for influence as countries, as oil giants, and, most of all, as self-proclaimed guardians of Islam. Yet over the past year, each has also entered a new kind of rivalry, one that is peaceful, perhaps even healthy in possibly setting a model. Both now have leaders eager to win over young people with fundamental reform.