Foreign Policy Research Institute shared the map of the proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran in Middle East, along with the populations’ total of 2014. Faith populations were divided between Sunni Muslim, Shiite Muslim, Ibadhi Muslim and others. The whole region in the Middle East was divided between Saudi friendly states and Saudi-backed insurgency areas, Iran friendly states and Iran-backed insurgency areas, Islamic State territories and neutral states.
The neutral states, according to the map, are Oman and Israel.
The Saudi friendly states are Jordan, Egypt, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Yemen.
The Saudi-backed insurgency areas are parts of northern and southern Syria.
The Iran friendly states are Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
The Iran-backed insurgency areas are in parts of northern Yemen.
The Islamic State controls territories in Iraq and Syria, in Sinai Peninsula on the Israeli-Egyptian borders and parts of Yemen.
While the map is too rigid, it does not reflect the complexity of the regional power struggle or the faith populations. The division between Sunni and Shiite is greatly highlighted in the map, whereas in reality the division cannot be found in religious causes but rather in economic and political endeavors for regional dominance.
The designation of Lebanon as being an Iran friendly state is too simplistic. The politics in Lebanon is much more complex, in which pro-Iranian and pro-Saudi factions are equally present. Finally, the map doesn’t reflect the religious diversity, other than Shiite and Sunni, in the region especially in Saudi Arabia and Iran.