Saudi Arabia and Iran Compared
- Articles, Blog

Saudi Arabia and Iran Compared

Saudi Arabia and Iran Separated by the Persian Gulf, the two neighboring countries that have been competing for dominance over the past few decades in a region referred to as The Middle East. Both apparently hate each other. Well, at least their governments do. In recent years, the two countries have been either directly or indirectly involved in several different conflicts throughout the Middle East. Both countries are run by theocracies, or governments made up of religious leaders. Their religion? Islam. However, Iran does have democracy and a constitution, making it officially a theocratic republic. Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy. The king is in charge. making decisions under the guidance of religious leaders and top princes of the royal family. In Saudi Arabia, the Quran is the official constitution of the country. But yeah, both countries have really authoritarian governments, both ranking near the bottom on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index. An example of this? Both have state-run broadcast media that dominate how citizens get information and regularly feed them pro-government propaganda. There are no private, independent broadcasters. Satellite dishes are even banned in both countries, although people still have them anyway. Private newspapers or magazines are heavily censored. That all said, Iran is a bit more free than Saudi Arabia. At least their government has to be somewhat accountable or they get the boot. And in Saudi Arabia, it’s illegal to be an atheist, punishable by death. Wait, what’s that? Oh, apparently you can get killed for being an atheist in Iran, too. The vast majority of citizens in both countries are Muslims. However, they are of two different branches of Islam. Around 90-95% in Iran practice Shia Islam, whereas around 85%-90% in Saudi Arabia practice Sunni Islam. This Shia-Sunni divide has been contentious for centuries and always demonstrated an underlying rift between the two countries. But Saudi Arabia can boast Islam started within its borders. It regularly attracts millions to Mecca and Medina, the two holiest cities for Muslims. Medina is where the founder of Islam, Muhammad, is buried. Mecca, the holiest city of them all, attracts Muslims from all over the world each year with the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage all Muslims are expected to make at least once in their life. Both countries have a similar birth rate and a similar population growth rate. However, Iran has 2 and a half times more people than Saudi Arabia, despite the fact that it has less land area. The two countries actually aren’t that dramatically different in size. Both countries have capital cities that are the largest cities in both. Tehran, the capital of Iran, does have 2.2 million more people than Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh, though. Both border a lot of countries. Iran borders 7 and Saudi Arabia borders 8! One of those 15 countries is the same. Both border Iraq. Speaking of Iraq, both countries have lots of oil. In fact, both countries have economies largely dependent on the oil industry. Petroleum, petrochemicals, natural gas, refining…in recent years, both countries have tried to branch out and diversify their economies with limited success. Of the two, Iran has done better with creating new industries. The life expectancy in both countries is about the same. Both have major national holidays that celebrate the modern founding of their country. In its modern form, Iran became a country on April 1, 1979 after the Iranian Revolution, although way before that the Persian Empire had roots as far back as 550 BC. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded on September 23, 1932. Both were settled by humans earlier than most places around the world. What would become Saudi Arabia was first settled at least 125,000 years ago and what would become Iran settled at least 100,000 years ago. Ok, so the differences certainly outnumber the similarities. Some I already mentioned, but here are the rest. Saudi Arabia has more coastline than Iran…well, unless you count the Caspian Sea, then Iran has more. Speaking of water, Saudi Arabia is surrounded by the Persian Gulf and Red Sea, while Iran is surrounded by the Caspian Sea, Gulf of Oman and also the Persian Gulf. On average, it’s 6% more expensive to live in Saudi Arabia compared to Iran. However, inflation is much higher in Iran. Incredibly, it was 10.5% in 2017. Citizens of Iran make around 66.5% less on money on average than citizens of Saudi Arabia. A much higher percentage of citizens in Saudi Arabia are connected to the internet than Iran. Although Iran’s economy is steadily growing and Saudi Arabia’s economy is kind of stagnant right now, Saudi Arabia still has much more wealth. Their GDP per capita is four times the GDP per capita of Iran. And with more wealth, comes more obesity, which is more common in Saudi Arabia. The unemployment rate is much higher in Iran. Sorry Iran, here, let me make you look better. Women have a lot less rights in Saudi Arabia. They have to cover up when they go out in public. They can only vote in local elections, and men there only recently allowed them to drive. In Iran, they can run for national office, have more freedom to go wherever they please and wear what they want, and more opportunities to get a good education. While both countries ban alcohol, in Iran you can get some if you are one of the few folks living there who is not a Muslim. Saudi Arabia is much more dry. Heh, heh, heh. Not as dry as YOU, Mr. Beat. Yeah, anyway…It has a harsh, sandy desert climate for the most part, with the exception of the highlands in Asir which get more rainfall. It gets pretty hot during the day throughout most of the country, although it’s not too bad in the winter. Iran’s climate is much more varied. It goes from arid to semiarid to continental in the northwest, with much more precipitation in the northern mountains. Most of the country is pretty dry, though. Wait mountains? Yeah, Iran has more. It’s more rugged and varied. With those mountains comes more earthquakes, though. The biggest natural disaster Saudi Arabia has to worry about is sand storms. Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the world…without a river. Iran has a strategic location that Saudi Arabia doesn’t have- the Strait of Hormuz, the only way by sea from the Persian Gulf to the open ocean. Even though Iran isn’t the ONLY country that controls it, they certainly have used it as leverage when talking trash to other countries in recent years. Iran is more diverse, in terms of ethnicity anyway. While Saudi Arabia is about 90% Arab, Iran notably has citizens who identify as Persian, Azeri, Kurd, Lur, Baloch, Arab, and Turkic peoples. Saudi Arabia is more urban, mostly because look at its rural areas. I mean…yeah. Saudi Arabia has 13 provinces. Iran has 31. Saudi Arabia spends a lot more money on education, 5.1% of its GDP, compared with Iran spending 2.9% of its GDP. It also spends a lot more money on its military, 4 and a half times as much as Iran. Iran has more soldiers, at least partially due to the fact that all men have to join the military there once they turn 18. Neither country has nukes…yet. And maybe that’s a good place to end it, because when you search online comparing these two countries, you find that most people want to know the difference between their militaries, maybe because they assume the two will be fighting in a future war with each other since their governments supposedly hate each other. But once both governments decide to get along, they will realize they would be quite the powerhouse if they just united. The two combined, after all, produce 18% of the world’s oil. A shout out to my newest Patreon supporter, Igor Brejc. And I know, this video could have been a lot longer, but I have to draw the line somewhere. So are any of you from Saudi Arabia or Iran per chance? Have you been to either place at least? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. I had a lot of fun researching these two countries. and I’m about to reach 50,000 subscribers. So this is very exciting. I’d like to do a livestream to celebrate. and if you have any questions for me, if you want me to answer them in the livestream let me know below. Thanks for watching! I’ll be back next time with a brand new episode of Supreme Court Briefs.

About James Carlton

Read All Posts By James Carlton

100 thoughts on “Saudi Arabia and Iran Compared

  1. Some of the coolest people I met in life happened to be from Saudi Arabia, That coming from a Persian. Respect!

  2. in iran women cant wear what they want. they must have hijab.
    men also cant wear sleeveless shirts or shorts.

  3. Both people are hospitable at an individual level but many Saudis can be very arrogant and rude in public. Iranian food is way more interesting and tasty. More historic places to see in Iran. Law and order is probably much better in Saudi Arabia. Iran is supported by Russians and Saudis are backed by Americans and their allies.

  4. I just wish America could stop screwing with both countries. As an American I don't want war with Iran. I didn't vote for the orange bastard.

  5. Well, Iran definently comes out as a more liberal and overall better country; more women's rights, more democracy, more religious freedom, ect. Still a totalitarian regime, but noticably milder than Saudi Arabia.

  6. Yeah: you forget one thing which is: Iranian people is more educated than saudi- Arabia people for sure bro….!!!!

  7. WhastApp 00212649050642
    عاجل إذا كـــنـــت دائما تعاني من ضعف الجــــنــسي و تود معالجة هذا المشكل في أقرب الوقت لك الحل العجيب يزيد في صلابة القضيــب ..إلــيك هدا الكريــم الفعال لمدة عشر أيام ستلاحظ تغيـر سأترك لكم وتاب خـــــاص ب طبيــب

  8. WhastApp 00212649050642
    عاجل إذا كنت دائما تعاني من ضعف الجــــنــسي و تريد معالجة هذا المشكل في أقرب الوقت إليك الحل رائـــع يزيد في صلابة القضيب ..لــك هدا الكريــم الفعـــال لمدة عشر أيـــــام ستلاحط تغيـر سأترك لكم وتاب الخاص ب طبيــب









  10. Your knowledge about Islam is wrong! Mumammad SAW was not founder of Islam. He was the last messenger of Allah! Islam is since forever from Adam & Eva, the first human on the earth!

  11. Saudi Government – Stop meddling in Arab countries (Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon)

    Iran Government – Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq are brotherly countries. We don't differentiate between Arab or Non Arab. We want peace in all these places.

    Saudi Government – If these countries have governments that are unfriendly to us, we are not going to like or accept it. We have no option but to side with US and Israel to destroy you.

    Saudi and Iranian people – Can you both knock it off. Can we focus on development and have peace?

  12. WhastApp 00212649050642
    عـــــاجل إذا كـــنـــت تـــعاني من ضعـف الجــــنــسي و تود معــــاالجة هذا مشـــكل في أقـرب الوقت لك الحل العجيب يزيد في صــلابـــة القضيب ..إلــيك هدا الكريـم الفعـــال لمدة عشر أيام ستلاحط تغير سأترك لكم وتاب خـــــاص ب طبيــب

  13. As a Saudi girl wanna add that they are getting us our rights these days so massively and there is such happy news yesterday I think about 5 years from we gonna officially have it all

  14. saudi is the best saudi is amazing saudi is the winner saudi is the future we love you saudi and u are really futuristic love ya saudi <3 im saudi btw <333

  15. I don’t live in Iran 🇮🇷 or Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦 but I do want to go to both countries and I live in Iraq 🇮🇶. Thank you 🙏 🇸🇦🇮🇷🇮🇶🇸🇦🇸🇦🇸🇦🇮🇷🇮🇷🇮🇷🇮🇶🇮🇶🇮🇶.

  16. ضصثقفغعه =بالالف و صدى الملاعب المجهزة من قبل مكاتب واقعة اقتحام منزله فى كل مكان

  17. It's called the Arabian Gulf, not the Persian Gulf.
    As usual, most of your information about Saudi Arabia is wrong.

  18. Saudi Arabia demographic statistics are unreliable, they don't accurately represent the southeast Asian population essentially living and working as slaves in Saudi Arabia

  19. Iran is not the devil they are trying to depict in the western media.The people are really peaceful, educated, and hospitable. Try visiting it once and you'll see for yourselves.

  20. In The gulf countries who ever has a passport of the country is considered Arab no matter what race he is in the Saudi Arabia Is way more diverse than you think the ethnicities consist of Arab,Persian,Baloch,Turkish,Uzbek,Armenian,Turkmen,Uyghur,Azeri (Azerbaijani),Hadhrami,Indian,Pakistani ,Bangladeshi,Sri Lankan,Pashtun (Afghans) But those people in Saudi Arabia are considered and called Arab That is why they are not recognised by there ethnicities and that means Arab welcome anyone from various Races to call themselves Arabs peace and love❤️.

  21. I don't understand why english speakers can't spell a country name as it is. Iran, not Ayraan.

  22. Michael H. Hart of USA who wrote "The 100 most influential persons in history" and placed Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be upon him) as number one, on the top of the list

    "My choice of Muhammad to lead the best of the world's most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels.
    His complete biography has been authenticated and circulated amongst scholars around the world starting while he was still alive and continuing up until today. One of the first examples we quote from is from the Encyclopedia Britannica, as it confirms:

    (Regarding Muhammad) "… a mass of detail in the early sources shows that he was an honest and upright man who had gained the respect and loyalty of others who were likewise honest and upright men." [Vol. 12]
    Reverend R. Bosworth-Smith wrote in "Mohammed & Mohammedanism" in 1946:

    "Head of the state as well as the Church, he was Caesar and Pope in one; but, he was pope without the pope's claims, and Caesar without the legions of Caesar, without a standing army, without a bodyguard, without a palace, without a fixed revenue. If ever any man had the right to say that he ruled by a Right Divine, it was Mohammad, for he had all the power without instruments and without its support. He cared not for dressing of power. The simplicity of his private life was in keeping with his public life."
    George Bernard Shaw:

    "I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving the problems in a way that would bring the much needed peace and happiness. Europe is beginning to be enamored of the creed of Muhammad. In the next century it may go further in recognizing the utility of that creed in solving its problems." (A Collection of writing of some of the eminent scholars, 1935).
    Lamartine's tribute to the Prophet:

    "If greatness of purpose, smallness of means and astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could claim to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad?" (Histoire de la Turquie, 1855).

    "I wanted to know the best of one who holds today undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind… I became more than convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard for his pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the 2nd volume (of the Prophet's biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of the great life."
    English author Thomas Carlyle in his 'Heroes and Hero Worship', was simply amazed:

    "How one man single handedly, could weld warring tribes and wandering Bedouins into a most powerful and civilized nation in less than two decades."
    EWolfgang Goethe, perhaps the greatest European poet ever, wrote about Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. He said:

    "He is a prophet and not a poet and therefore his Quran is to be seen as Divine Law and not as a book of a human being, made for education or entertainment." [Noten und Abhandlungen zum Weststlichen Dvan, WA I, 7, 32]

    Muhammad, peace be upon him, was nothing more or less than a human being, but he was a man with a noble mission, which was to unite humanity on the worship of ONE and ONLY ONE GOD and to teach them the way to honest and upright living based on the commands of God. He always described himself as, 'A Servant and Messenger of God' and so indeed every action of his proclaimed to be.

  23. As an iranian, just stupids can hate each others from any nation. Human is human and the borders are all created by bad guys.

  24. I've gotten along with both people from Iran and Saudi Arabia. But for whatever reason, when I tell Iranians/Persians that I'm Armenian, they get so excited and the bond grows closer. With Saudis, they're like "Oh cool". With Iranians/Persians they're like "Ayyyyy my brother!" no joke when I say this lol.

  25. If I was the POTUS, i would rather be allies with the Iranians over Saudi Arabia. Iran have some form of Democracy and ain't about that Wahhabist lifestyle.

  26. That the Iran is not a democracy is the fault of the US and GB, just saying Operation Ajax. Just because the democratic elected Primminister wanted to nationalize the oil industry for the people.

  27. more wealth comes with more obesity in K.S.A. Iran relies on its own in most sectors, K.S.A relies totally on west. easy win for Iran.

  28. Don’t compare army , Iran is well war trained country whose defeated big armies . Saudi’s army won’t stand longer in war with Iran .

  29. Saudi attacked us twice in 70 s economically and then agsin its people attacked us on Sept 11th and hid Bin Laden until B Hussein Obama nailed him..

  30. Yahoodi Arabia…..Go kiss US ass…hahahaha, Everybody in the world sees our power. We dont kiss ass, We shut down drones…..hahahahahaa… gfoh

  31. I’m saudi and i hate this shit
    We should stop and focus on building our countries and that’s not gonna happen before Iranian Ideology and hopes get sopped and focus on there poor country and develop it and help the iranian people

  32. “If You Do Not Have Any Religion, Then At Least Be Free In Your Present Life.”
    Imam Hussain

    We Iranian just wana the Zionist regime to be vanished not KSA
    And it's obvious because of killing children and occupying other's land
    They are enemy of humanity
    It's rational don't you think?
    Think independently
    Who is invading other's country like yemen
    As we exist , we support oppressed people

  33. I am a saudi guy, i went to los Angeles last summer and an iranian guy sat next to me and we introduced our selfs and talked for 15 minutes. He was such a nice guy

  34. What the media doesn’t tell Americans is that during WWII what some call the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran was the joint invasion of Iran in 1941 by the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union code name Operation Countenance. Its purpose was to secure Iranian oil fields for the fight against the Axis Powers (Germany, Rome, Japan).

    At that time Iran was neutral in the war but the Allies considered Reza Shah to be friendly to Germany. They removed Reza Shah and replaced him with his young son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. In later years based on declassified CIA documents, the CIA collaborated w/ Mohammad Reza Pahlavi – The last Shah – to form a coup (Operation Ajax) against the democratically elected Iranian leader Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953; This Prime Minister was nationalizing Iran’s oil fields that the Brits built.

    After that coup the Consortium Agreement of 1954 gave Western oil companies 40% ownership of Iranian oil production. The Brits and USA wanted to reinstate the Shah for negotiations also leading to sanctions being imposed by the Brits.

    The Shah was later overthrown by the Iranian Revolution. When Western news bashes Iran and the Revolution they don’t tell you the whole story. The issue has always been about controlling other countries oil, Iran, including Iraq, (how about Venezuela) installing pro-American governments.
    Now you know why the USA and others have created the narrative of the evil Iran – its propaganda. The West started this whole mess w/ Iran as the CIA continues to cause trouble

  35. Practically almost half of Iranians are not muslims and don't pray, fast and do other religious duties especially young generation
    Some or most of this group just believe in God and rest of them are atheist

  36. I know this is super late but there are a few things here I have to comment on:
    0:43 The King has religious leaders as advisors, but they serve him and not the other way around, Saudi Arabia and Iran are different kinds of theocracy, in Iran the clergy resides in control and guidance over the politicians, however there's no clergy in Sunni Islam and in Saudi Arabia the government takes advantage of the religion for it's own interests.
    0:49 No it's not, we don't have a constitution but we have a ruling document called "The Basic System of Governance".
    1:04 Literally no one here take their news from the state run media.
    1:15 No they are not.
    5:44 Men too can only vote in local elections as they are the only elections in Saudi Arabia.

  37. Please don’t compare Iran with Saudis. Saudis r bunch of criminals. They have real with people who run drug mafia prostitution rings and terrorised their own people. Actually in Muslim world all the terrisom is from these arabs.

  38. On the pronunciation of Iran (I come from a linguistics background and linguists tend to be averse to the idea of "right" and "wrong" in language), since both pronunciations are common in certain dialects of English, it is perfectly acceptable to pronounce "Iran" as [ɪrɑn] or [aɪræn] in this context. It is common for pronunciations to change depending on the language used by the speaker, often because certain vowel sounds are more likely to occur in certain positions in a word (usually depending on which sounds surround it). We all modify the pronunciation of foreign words to fit more comfortably in our own language (yes, you too). For an example, look at any Anglicized version of a French word. While every Iranian person I have ever met insists it is pronounced [ɪrɑn] (and I happen to pronounce it that way), insisting that everyone pronounces a word one way is a standard that none of us could keep and is contradictory to the way language actually works in the real world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *