June 7, 2011 Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 695

Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran Reflected by Cartoons

June 7, 2011 | By Yossi Mansharof and N. Shamni*
Saudi Arabia, Iran | Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 695


Among other manifestations, tensions between the Gulf states and Iran were reflected through cartoons. The Gulf, and especially Saudi, press, including its London-based newspapers, published numerous cartoons condemning Iran and depicting it as interfering in Middle East affairs, spreading internal strife, and planting espionage networks. Iran was also portrayed as a hypocrite voicing support for the revolutions in the Arab world while oppressing protest at home.[1] The Iranian press, for its part, published cartoons condemning Saudi Arabia for interfering in Bahrain and depicting Saudi Arabia as spreading internal strife and operating under the patronage of the U.S.

Anti-Iranian Cartoons in Gulf Press

Iran Interferes in Middle East Affairs

"Iran" Breaks Pool Balls of "Middle East" with Bomb

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), April 6, 2011

"Iran," in U.S. Sights, Holds "Middle East" Hostage

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), March 18, 2011

Iran Spreads Internal and Sectarian Strife

Iran Shells the "Arab Region" with "Sectarianism"

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), March 16, 2011

Iran Plays with Rubik's Cube of "Sectarianism"

Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), April 20, 2011.

Iran Balances "Internal Strife" on Its Head

Al-Jazira (Saudi Arabia), April 4, 2011

Iran Rouses Satan of "Internal Strife" from Slumber

Al-Madina (Saudi Arabia), April 20, 2011

Iran's Hypocrisy vis-à-vis Gulf States

Iran's "Espionage": Extending the Hand of Peace with a Spy up Its Sleeve

Al-Sharq (Qatar), April 4, 2011

Iran Sticks Its Nose in Bahrain while Condemning Gulf States for Interfering There

Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), March 22, 2011

Iran Looks Like an Angel but Is Actually the Angel of Death

Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), April 4, 2011

Iran Calls for Peace while Pouring Gas on the Flames of Conflict

Al-Jazira (Saudi Arabia), April 1, 2011

Iran Encourages Revolutions in Arab World while Suppressing Its Own People

Ahmadinejad Encourages "Freedom" in "Arab World" while Holding His Own People Prisoner

Al-Mustaqbal (Lebanon), March 2, 2011

Ahmadinejad Says "No to Suppression of Peaceful Protests" while Stepping on the Corpse of "Tehran"

'Okaz (Saudi Arabia), March 18, 2011

Anti-Saudi Cartoons in Iranian Press

Saudi Arabia Spills Blood in Bahrain

Saudi Arabia Wields Sword over Bahrain

Fars (Iran), May 12, 2011

"Sa'ud Family and Gulf Cooperation Council" Spill Bahrainis' Blood, Tell "Iran": "Don't Interfere"

Fars (Iran), April 10, 2011

Saudi Mosquito Sucks Blood from Bahraini Flag

Fars (Iran), April 7, 2011

"Saudi Army" Massacres Bahrainis Holding Signs Reading: "Here I am, Hussein"[2]

Fars (Iran), April 7, 2011

Saudi Arabia – A Mercenary for the U.S.

Saudi King Rules with U.S. Force

Fars (Iran), April 10, 2011

Saudi Soldiers in "U.S. Army" Uniform Make Haste to "Bahrain"

Fars (Iran), March 21, 2011

Cartoons Condemning Wahhabism

"Wahhabism Is the Dark Part of Islam['s] World"

Javan (Iran), January 10, 2011

"Wahhabism" Splits "Sunnis" and "Shi'ites" Apart

Fars (Iran), April 13, 2011

*M. Shamni and Y. Mansharof are research fellows at MEMRI.


[1] On the media clashes between Iran and the Gulf states, see MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Series Report No.678, "The Bahrain Situation: Media Clashes between the Iranian-Shi'ite Camp and the Saudi-Sunni Camp," March 18, 2011,

[2] The slogan "Here I Am, Hussein" expresses a willingness to sacrifice one's life and refers to Hussein ibn 'Ali, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad and the first Shi'ite imam, who was martyred in the Battle of Karbala in 680.

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