Hassan Rouhani, President of Iran. Dirk Waem/Belga via ZUMA Press

L’Arabie saoudite et l’emprise iranienne sur le pouvoir syrien

Riyad – La participation de l’Iran [le 30 octobre] aux discussions de Vienne sur la Syrie – participation confirmée la semaine dernière – est lourde de conséquences. En fait, le gouvernement iranien tente aujourd’hui de renverser un équilibre des forces qui se maintient pourtant depuis mille quatre cents ans – et l’Arabie saoudite, berceau du monde musulman, ne le permettra pas.

Le clivage entre l’Iran et l’Arabie saoudite, respectivement les principales puissances chiite et sunnite, a des origines anciennes. Si nous voulons comprendre ce qui se passe réellement au Moyen-Orient – et non pas seulement en Syrie –, il faut revenir au schisme entre sunnites et chiites, à la fracture entre le monde arabe et la Perse, aux luttes passées pour la gouvernance de l’Islam.

L’Islam s’est divisé entre sunnites et chiites après la mort de son fondateur, le prophète Muhammad, lorsqu’il fallut désigner son successeur. Pour plupart de ses fidèles, qui plus tard recevraient le nom de sunnites, c’est le plus capable qui devait emporter la décision des croyants ; aussi soutinrent-ils le choix des conseillers, qui se porta sur Abou Bakr, le beau-père du Prophète. Un petit groupe de dissidents, en revanche, ceux qui plus tard recevraient le nom de chiites, pensaient que le nouveau calife devait nécessairement appartenir à la proche parenté du Prophète, et que son successeur légitime était Ali ibn Abi Talib (le quatrième calife pour les sunnites). Aujourd’hui, 90% des musulmans sont sunnites et 10% sont chiites.

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