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New Hope Against Old Conflicts In The Middle East45:55
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Is Bahrain the latest proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arbia? We take a deep look at the role of sectarian strife in Middle East uprisings and the consequences for regional politics and American policy.

Mourners shout anti-government slogans during the funeral procession for a slain protester, Saturday. (AP)
Mourners shout anti-government slogans during the funeral procession for a slain protester, Saturday. (AP)

In the beginning, the Arab wave of political uprisings looked simple. Authoritarian rulers in Tunisia and Egypt, out. The people in the streets – young Arabs with new ideas and expectations – up and celebrating.

Now, as bombs fall on Libya, the unrest continues to roll in the Arab heartland. But there, big, old stories are being mixed with the new. Of Sunni-Shia conflict. Of Saudi Arabian rivalry with Iran.

Pro-democracy protestors say they want free of all that, but it’s in their faces now.

This hour On Point: new uprisings and old tensions in the Middle East.
- Tom Ashbrook
Guests:

Bernard Haykel, professor of Near East Studies at Princeton University.

Suzanne Maloney, senior fellow at the Brookings Institute and author of "Iran's Long Reach: Iran as a Pivotal State in the Muslim World."

Simon Henderson, fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.  Joining us from Qatar, after a trip to Bahrain.

This program aired on March 23, 2011.

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