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    HomeNewsAsiaSurvey finds Saudi Arabia more popular than Iran in 13 Muslim countries

    Survey finds Saudi Arabia more popular than Iran in 13 Muslim countries

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    Approval ratings of Saudi Arabia’s leadership was found to be higher than Iran’s across all 13 Muslim-majority countries surveyed by in a poll conducted by US analytics firm, Gallup.

    Across the countries, spanning from Morocco to Pakistan, median approval of Saudi Arabia’s leadership in 2022 was substantially higher than Iran’s leadership (39 per cent vs. 14 per cent, respectively).

    The countries surveyed were: Kuwait, Libya, Jordan, Pakistan, Morocco, Iraq, Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Yemen, Palestinian Territories and Turkiye.

    Only in Pakistan does a plurality approve of Iran’s leadership at 50 per cent (compared to 83 per cent for Saudi Arabia). In no other country is there more than a quarter of the population having positive perceptions of the Islamic Republic, “making Iranian leadership deeply unpopular among the 12 others”.  Pakistan is noteworthy in having the second largest Shia population in the world, after Iran.

    READ: Iran invites Saudi King to visit Tehran – Iran Foreign Ministry spokesperson

    Countries where Tehran exerted the greatest influence also showed some of the lowest public perception ratings, with large majorities disapproving of Iranian leadership in Iraq (86 per cent), Yemen (80 per cent) and Lebanon (73 per cent).

    Gallup also noted that, while Lebanon’s Shia population gives Iran relatively high levels of support (58 per cent approval vs. 39 per cent disapproval), Iraq’s Shia Muslim population does not (17 per cent vs. 83 per cent), “underscoring a key source of Iraqi nationalist leader, Muqtada Al-Sadr’s support.”

    Attitudes in Turkiye were remarkable, where there was strong disapproval of both countries, with only a three-point approval advantage for the Kingdom. In the Palestinian Territories, the approval gap was a relatively low 12 points, “though Palestinians’ opinions of all foreign powers, including China, Russia and the US, have remained similarly low for years.”

    Gallup concluded its report on its findings by stating: “Beyond being the world’s most important oil producer, Saudi Arabia remains the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and a perceived leader of the Muslim world.”

    “The country’s relative popularity in the immediate and surrounding regions makes it a partner that cannot easily be dispensed.”

    READ: Diplomat: Iran, Saudi Arabia to reopen embassies by 9 May



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